Health Services to commence Bowel Cancer Screening Programme

Bowel cancer is common on the Island and in most cases (9/10) is caused by polyps in the bowel. Bowel polyps are small growths on the inner lining of the large intestine (colon) or rectum. Bowel polyps are very common, and affect around 1 in 4 people aged 50 or over. 

The Health Services Directorate can detect polyps by testing your poo for blood using a simple test. When detected early, bowel cancer survival rates are very high (around 90%), so getting tested is very important. 

Over the next year, the Health Services Directorate will be offering men and women aged 50-74 years one of these tests.

The tests can be done yourself and will then need to be returned to the Hospital. The Health Services Directorate will be calling groups of people in age order and will publish a public announcement when the test kits for your age group are ready to be picked up. The pack with the test in has full instructions about how to do the test.

To begin with, from 1 February 2023, the Health Services Directorate will be encouraging those who were born in 1948 to pick up a test from the Hospital reception which is open from 8am to 9pm, seven days per week. Once you have completed your test you can drop it back into the box at reception.

Results will be provided with four weeks, and you may be called in to speak to a doctor about these if necessary.

If you have any questions about this campaign please call: 25888. Alternatively please speak to your GP.

The Health Services Directorate will issue a public announcement when tests are available for those born in years subsequent to 1948.

25January 2023

St Helena Government Communications Hub

Telephone: 22470