A Surrey resident is urging people to use a bowel cancer home testing kit.

People aged 60 to 74 years who are registered with a GP practice and live in England are automatically sent a Faecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) kit every two years. The FIT kit detects small amounts of blood in poo - that would not be visible to people – before someone may notice anything is wrong.

John Rosling’s bowel cancer was caught despite throwing away his FIT kit.

Mr Rosling said: “I made the mistake of ignoring my test kits prior to my diagnosis as I thought I knew my body best and I was feeling fine. 

“However, it wasn’t until several months later that I felt extremely unwell whilst away on holiday and was later diagnosed with bowel cancer.

“As you can probably imagine, I have never ignored a testing kit since!”

To use it, people simply need to collect a tiny sample of poo using the plastic stick provided, pop it in the sample bottle; and send it free of charge to the NHS for tests in a laboratory.

Screening is vital in helping the NHS detect bowel cancer at the earliest stage, when it is more likely to be successfully treated.

Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK, and the second biggest cancer killer.  

People who have lost or thrown away their kit can call the helpline for advice on 0800 707 60 60. More information can be found here.