People that are aged 50 to 74 are encouraged to use a bowel test kit to screen for bowel cancer. The kit is simple to use and is free. It can also be done from the privacy and comfort of your home. All you have to do is to collect two tiny samples of your poo with the kit and send them to the lab for testing. You do not need to leave the comfort of your home to conduct the test. 

In this post, we will look at the simple steps to follow to use a bowel test kit. If the test kit is expired, damaged, or lost, it is recommended that you call the National Cancer Screening Register to request a new kit. 

Before You Do the Bowel Screening Test

The first step is to carefully read the instructions for the test kit before starting the test processing. You do not have to stop your medication or change your diet before you collect the sample. The bowel test kit contains two collection tubes, two toilet liners, one ziplock bag, one participant details form, and one reply paid envelope. 

The return envelope is to be used to send the sample to the lab for testing. You must use the envelope that was sent to you to return the sample. Before performing this test, you should pick out the test tubes, the small label on your letter, and a pen. 

You may also want to get something to help collect the sample. This may be an empty and clean plastic container, such as a margarine or ice cream tub. You can also use toilet paper to collect the sample.

Steps to Collect Your Sample

Stool container for bowel screening

It is recommended that you stick the label that you have taken out from your letter on the side of the test tube that is marked ‘+’ and write the date that you are taking the test on the other side of your test tube. When you have done this, follow the simple steps to collect your sample:

Step One: Collect your poo using a container or toilet paper. 

Step Two: Open the test tube by twisting the top. Note that the lid of the test tube has an attached stick.

Step Three: Use the stick to take a small sample of your poo and replace the lid on the test tube and close it.

Step Four: Put the collected sample with the label on it in the sent envelope and send it to the lab as soon as you can. It is recommended that you store the samples in the fridge at a temperature that is between 2°C and 8°C until you get to send them. You should never freeze the sample. 

Remember to dispose of the toilet paper or container that you used by flushing the toilet paper or sending the container into the bin.

How to Send Your Test Sample

When you have collected the sample, keep it in your fridge until you are ready to post it at the post office. Your sample should not take longer than fourteen days before the laboratory receives it from the day you took it. If it exceeds fourteen days, you will be required to take another test. A new bowel test kit will be sent to you. 

It is recommended that you do not put your envelope in the outside post box. It is best to hand it over to someone inside the post office. You may also drop it in the post box that is inside the post office. Also, remember to write the date on the sample and include the filled participant details form in the envelope before you post it. This post looked at the simple steps to use a bowel test kit.