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South West London Bowel Cancer Campaign

Life-saving campaign in London: “your next poo could save your life”

NHS London is running a lifesaving campaign to encourage more people to do their free NHS bowel cancer screening test, which checks if you could have bowel cancer.

The campaign, “Your next poo could save your life”, urges people who have been sent a free NHS bowel cancer screening kit to use it.

Londoner Simon Clarke, 67, had no idea anything was wrong when he did his bowel cancer screening test but the test led to further investigations which showed he had cancer.

“Without the screening I wouldn’t have known it was there,” he said. “So use the bowel cancer screening kit when you’re sent it, because if it catches something early like it did with me, it could save your life.”

London Director of Public Health, Professor Kevin Fenton said: “Bowel cancer is one of the most common cancers. Anyone can get it.

“In the UK, 43,000 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer and over 16,500 people die from it each year – more than 45 a day.

“Screening  – which you do in private at home  – can help prevent bowel cancer or find it at an early stage when it’s easier to treat. Those who complete bowel cancer screening are 25% less likely to die of bowel cancer.

“That’s why the NHS sends out free bowel cancer screening kits to use at home. They are for people with no symptoms and most people get the all-clear. If you are sent a kit, please use it.”

The campaign “Your next poo could save your life” aims to increase uptake of bowel cancer screening across London. It is particularly focusing on those who are less likely to do the test: men, people sent the bowel cancer screening kit for the first time, people in deprived areas, people from some ethnic and faith communities, and people with a learning disability.

At there is lots of information, FAQs, people’s stories, an animation, videos, posters and graphics, and other campaign resources including for people with learning disabilities, and in multiple languages.

Together we can stop cancer before it starts.