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'I had no symptoms' says dad whose stage three bowel cancer was found at screening test


Dad-of-two Steve Hollington, of Warrington, Cheshire, felt like he won the “lottery ticket” when a bowel cancer screening test came through the post. “I had no symptoms,” the cruise ship singer said. “I would have carried on not knowing had I not taken the test. And leaving it so long would have almost certainly been too late to receive the treatment I have.”

Steve, 58, was sent the FIT (Faecal Immunochemical Test) as part of the nationwide bowel cancer screening programme.

Shortly after completing the kit, which requires a sample of poo, the NHS contacted Steve to say that further investigation was needed.

After a colonoscopy, two tumours were found in Steve’s bowel, which took him “completely by surprise”.

Steve shared: “There were some really worrying and emotional times, but I’ve tried to remain positive.”

Having had bowel surgery in December, just weeks following his diagnosis, Steve feels like he’s “over the worst parts of it”.

Steve said: “The surgery has removed the tumours [and] the chemotherapy will hopefully mop up any of the cancerous cells.”

At present, Steve has a stoma to enable his bowel to heal, which he hopes will be removed once his course of chemotherapy is finished.

Every patient registered to their GP in England, aged 60 to 74, will automatically be sent a FIT test to their home address every two years.

Now the bowel cancer screening programme is being expanded by the NHS to include people under the age of 60, like Steve.

Dr Michael Gregory, medical director for NHS England North West, urged people to complete the test and to return it as soon as possible.

Dr Gregory said: “Catching bowel cancer before it spreads can reduce the risk of dying and make treatment so much more manageable.

“The FIT kit is a vital part of our screening programme, so I’d urge anyone who has received a kit but has yet to return it to not put it off.

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“The FIT kit is a vital part of our screening programme, so I’d urge anyone who has received a kit but has yet to return it to not put it off.”

Cancer Research UK has some tips on how to complete a FIT test that you can do at home.

“The easiest way to collect the sample is to use an old plastic container, line it with toilet paper and put it in the toilet,” noted the charity.

“And then have a poo into the container. Do not wee into the container. And do not let your poo touch the water or the toilet.”

“The FIT kit is a vital part of our screening programme, so I’d urge anyone who has received a kit but has yet to return it to not put it off.”

Cancer Research UK has some tips on how to complete a FIT test that you can do at home.

“The easiest way to collect the sample is to use an old plastic container, line it with toilet paper and put it in the toilet,” noted the charity.

“And then have a poo into the container. Do not wee into the container. And do not let your poo touch the water or the toilet.”



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