Bowel Health Test
The SELFCheck Bowel Health Test is a home screening kit which can help to detect the presence of polyps in the colon, which can sometimes be a very early sign of bowel cancer.
Order your bowel health test online from our UK pharmacy, by clicking ‘buy now’ and completing our short form. We’ll ship your test kit by tracked, next-day parcel.
The SELFCheck Bowel Health Test is a screening kit which can help to detect the presence of polyps in the bowel. You can use it at home, and it doesn’t need to go to a lab to be analysed. Polyps are very small lumps that often don’t cause any noticeable symptoms, and around 95% of colon cancer cases begin from these. Removing them surgically can help to lower the risk of bowel cancer developing.
Polyps can often rupture and bleed, but this blood might not always be visible to us in stool when we go to the toilet. The bowel health test works by detecting trace levels of blood. It comes with an applicator that you insert into a stool sample. Once this sample has been mixed with the solution in the kit and inserted onto the test cassette, it returns a result in five minutes.
Bowel cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, tends more often to affect people who are older. According to charity Bowel Cancer UK, there are nearly 42,000 cases diagnosed in the UK annually, and 94% of these are in people over the age of 50.
Some people are more at risk of bowel cancer than others. In addition to people aged over 50, those who have a family history of the condition, have polyps in the bowel, have types 2 diabetes or have a condition such as Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis, are more likely to develop it.
Bowel cancer can cause several symptoms, such as a change in bowel movement frequency, blood in the stool, weight loss or abdominal pain. However, these symptoms are associated with several other conditions, so the presence of them may not always prompt someone to speak to a doctor. Conversely, the majority of people who experience one or more of these symptoms will likely not have bowel cancer.
In any case, if you notice any of the symptoms mentioned, it’s still important to get them checked out, and see your doctor. They will be able to conduct further tests to find a reason, or rule out potential conditions that might be causing them.
Cancer of the bowel is treatable, but this is much more likely to be effective when the condition is detected early. Proper diagnosis of bowel cancer is typically made through a series of hospital tests, including a colonoscopy, CT scan or MRI scan.
Routine testing a stool sample with a home screening kit can help to determine whether someone might need to see a doctor. It’s advisable for people over the age of 40 to test their stool for blood once a year. People with a family history of bowel cancer may be recommended to start doing this even earlier.
If your SELFCheck bowel health test returns a positive result, you should see your doctor to discuss what to do next. If you have a positive result AND you have some of the symptoms described above, you should see your doctor the same or next day. A positive test result doesn’t necessarily mean you have something serious like cancer but it does mean you need to have further tests.
Our confidential pharmacy service enables you to buy the bowel health screening test online. Click below to place your order, and we’ll ship your kit to you by next-day parcel.
This kit contains:
- a test cassette in a foil wrapper
- a 2.5ml buffer bottle
- and a set of instructions.
This is enough to perform one test.
Please get in touch with our customer care team if you receive your kit and any of the above are missing.
You must read the instructions provided with the kit carefully, and follow these when performing the test. If there is anything about this test you are not sure about, please contact our doctor or pharmacist for further advice.
- Women should not conduct this test during their period, or for up to three days afterwards.
- When you are ready to perform your test, get a clock or watch with a second hand ready.
- Before you pass your stool, you might find it helpful to lay several layers of toilet tissue across the inside of the bowl to stop the stool from falling into the water. This will make it easier to collect a sample.
- Once you have passed your stool and are ready to collect your sample, open the buffer bottle. Be careful not to spill any of the solution or get any on your skin.
- Use the end of the stick to take samples from three separate areas of stool, as shown in the diagram in the instruction leaflet.
- If any excess stool sticks to the end of the test stick, wipe it off with a piece of tissue.
- Once you have collected your sample from three areas, insert the stick into the buffer bottle, and tightly secure the cap.
- Mix the contents of the container by shaking it.
- Carefully open the foil pack containing the test cassette.
- Remove the cassette and place it on a flat surface.
- Holding the sample container with the cap pointing upright, take a tissue and place over the cap, and then break off the tip.
- Place two drops of the mixture into the test field marked ‘S’ on the cassette.
- Do not allow any liquid to fall into the test window.
- Wait five minutes.
- If you wait for too long or for not enough time, your result may be inaccurate.
- Your test window has two levels labelled ‘C’ and ‘T’.
- If a purple line appears at the ‘C’ level but not the ‘T’ level, the test is negative.
- If your test shows a line at both the ‘C’ level and the ‘T’ level, the test is positive, and you should speak to your doctor.
- The test is invalid if no line appears at either level. This can occur due to damaged instruments, or an error when carrying out the test.
- When you have finished, the test components should be disposed of in household waste.
How does it work?
The test looks for signs of human haemoglobin (hHB) in the stool. hHB is found in blood, so a positive result indicates traces of blood in the stool.
Polyps, a very early characteristic of bowel cancer, often cause bleeding, however this can be intermittent. For this reason, it is important to conduct tests like this one on a regular basis, around once a year.
Does it need to go to the lab?
No. The test produces a result in the cassette provided, so you can view your result at home in minutes.
How long does it take?
Your result will be viewable within five minutes of providing the sample.
What kind of sample do I have to give for this test?
A stool sample. The test requires extraction from three different parts of the stool to be effective.
What happens if I’m negative?
You don’t need to do anything if you are not having any bowel symptoms. However, you should continue to be tested regularly.
If you have bowel symptoms and this test returns a negative result, you should still see a doctor if these symptoms persist, so they can investigate the possible cause further.
What happens if I’m positive?
Speak to your doctor if your test is positive. They may need to conduct further tests and refer you to a specialist.
How accurate is it?
The test successfully detected 91% of cancer cases in a trial involving 138 people, who were about to have a colonoscopy procedure.
Who should get tested?
People over 40 are advised to have a bowel health test each year. People who have a family history of bowel cancer should ideally start testing regularly sooner.
It’s simple to buy your bowel health test online with our pharmacy service. Complete our short order form, and your test kit will be sent to you by next-day courier.
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