NHS bowel cancer screening uptake 'can be increased with reassuring reminders'

Medical Government/ NHS related news

Uptake of NHS bowel scope screening could be increased by sending patients reassuring reminders that address their potential concerns.

This is according to a University College London study, supported by Cancer Research UK and St Mark's Hospital, which has found that many people are put off taking the test due to concerns about embarrassment, pain and potential harm to the bowel.

“NHS bowel scope screening uptake could be increased by sending people reassuring reminders, according to a new report.“

This screening method is offered to men and women aged between 55 and 59, and involves inserting a tiny camera into the bowel to find and remove any polyps that might eventually turn into cancer.

According to the new study, screening attendance was bolstered by 21.5 percent when people were sent additional reminders with a leaflet offering assurance that they could choose both the time of the appointment and the gender of the doctor performing the test.

The leaflets also included patient testimonials and advice from a named and pictured local GP.

Dr Jodie Moffat, Cancer Research UK's head of early diagnosis, said: "Studies such as this help us learn about the best way to provide information in a way that resonates with people and ensures we can minimise any unnecessary barriers to people taking part."

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