London bowel cancer screening campaign
NHS London is running a campaign in summer 2022 to support encourage more people to do their free NHS bowel cancer screening test.
The campaign, “Your next poo could save your life”, urges people who have been sent a free bowel cancer screening kit to use it.
It aims to increase uptake of bowel cancer screening across London. The campaign 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.
Bowel cancer is one of the most common cancers. In the UK, 43,000 people are diagnosed with it and over 16,500 people die from it each year – more than 45 a day. Those who complete bowel cancer screening are 25% less likely to die of bowel cancer.
To get the message out, the campaign will use London buses, roadside advertising, social media, and radio.
An animated video has been created to explain bowel screening to the public. It features UCLH consultant cancer surgeon, Austin Obichere, who encourages people to use the FIT (faecal immunochemical test) kit when it arrives in the post.
Campaign material also includes video case studies of Londoners who only discovered they had bowel cancer as a result of using the FIT.
All campaign materials, including posters which can be printed and displayed in GP practices and other community locations, can be found on the Healthy London Partnership website.
Bowel cancer screening coverage in North Central London
Here are the latest published figures (2021) for bowel cancer screening coverage* by eligible residents in the north central London boroughs.
Similar to England as a whole, there has been an increase in the coverage of bowel cancer screening in London with 59.3% of eligible people in the capital, aged 60-74, taking up the offer of bowel cancer screening in 2021. This is an increase from 56.0% in 2020.
In 2022 so far, there have been encouraging improvements in North Central London and these will be evident in the figures to be updated later in the year.
- Bowel screening coverage in Barnet is 59.3%. This has increased from 56.0% in 2020.
- Bowel screening coverage in Camden is 54.0%. This has increased from 51.7% in 2020.
- Bowel screening coverage in Enfield is 60.4%. This has increased from 57.4% in 2020.
- Bowel screening coverage in Haringey is 56.3%. This has increased from 53.7% in 2020.
- Bowel screening coverage in Islington is 55.8%. This has increased from 52.4% in 2020.
*Coverage refers to the proportion of eligible men and women aged 60 to 74 invited for screening who had an adequate faecal immunochemical test (FIT) screening result in the previous 30 months.
Figures from: Office for Health Improvement and Disparities: Public Health Data (Fingertips): Cancer screening coverage – bowel cancer. Available at: Public health profiles – OHID (phe.org.uk)