A Good Result

Some services in our NHS had to be put on hold when all the resources were being diverted to fighting the pandemic. But they are now coming back, slowly but surely. One of those is the Bowel Cancer Screening Programme. Because of my age, I was invited to take part, and when I agreed, they sent me a home test kit.

It is not the most pleasant thing to have to do, even though it is painless, and non-invasive. Basically, you have to poo into a container that you provide yourself. (A disposable one of course) Then you take a small stick from the plastic vial you have been sent, and rub it around your ‘deposit’ until the marked area is covered. Then it is put back into the vial, secured in its transit envelope, and posted back (free of charge) to the testing centre.

As with any test, the wait can be worrying. If they discover something amiss, it will mean a procedure where a large tube is inserted into your bowel, via your bum of course! That initial test might be followed by scans, or other procedures deemed necessary.

My result came back in the post today, after a week. I was very happy to get the all-clear, and require no more testing at the moment. They will send me another test kit in two years from now.

Such screening programmes are worth participating in. They are catching potentially fatal diseases before they have had time to take a hold on your body, and reducing the need for subsequent surgery and other therapies. And they are free too.

Yet again, I have to say we are lucky to have the NHS.

54 thoughts on “A Good Result

  1. I’ve been doing the poo test for quite a few years now. I think they start at age 50 here in Scotland. I’m probably due another before long. For some reason, when I put the envelope in the letterbox the thought of all these packets of poo circulating through the postal service makes me smile 🙂 Glad you had a negative result.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We do pay into it while we are working of course, but it is fantastic value for the services we receive. I honestly cannot imagine not being able to have things done without insurance, though we do have to contribute extra for dentistry and spectacles.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Well, as you know because of my stomache problems, I have had numerous tests. I had to do this one four times now, and it’s nauseating every time😔 But…I also had to take the real test with the tube inside the bowel two times now, and that’s even worse. But yes, it’s always great to get the all clear, that’s for sure😀

    Liked by 1 person

        1. Endoscopy. Sounds awful. I watched one being done once, and they had to eventually sedate the poor lady to get the tube down.
          Sometimes, the treatment is worse than the symptoms…
          Best wishes, Pete.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. It really was Pete 😔I did it without sedation, because I was told that’s the best way to do it. I wished I hadn’t. It’s hands down the worst kind of medical examination that I ever had to take, and if I ever have to do it again, you can trust me that I will do it with sedation😅

            Liked by 1 person

          2. A bronchoscopy is the very worst! They stick the tube down into your lung – then they pour water into your lung and grab bits of tumour while you feel you are drowning. I told them afterwards that waterboarding is a form of torture considered illegal by the UN. Oh, how they laughed!

            Liked by 1 person

        1. I would have to do a search for it but I do remember reading or possible listening to a podcast, that the reason this is not routine in the US is that the referral commission that is paid by the specialists that do colonoscopies is quite substantial. The true cost of private healthcare?

          Liked by 1 person

  3. It is a great initiative. A couple of years back, we lost a relative to the bowel cancer. She was around 55-60 and had fought for an year. The disease robbed the family of nearly all their money and one month later, her husband, with already failing health, died of a broken heart.

    Liked by 1 person

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