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Bowel test

(58 Posts)
Nana56 Sat 02-Jul-22 13:23:12

I know it's ridiculous but does anyone else have really bad anxiety about doing the bowel cancer test?

Juliet27 Sat 02-Jul-22 13:27:59

Which one did you mean, the bowel screening test or the virtual colonoscopy ? We are lucky that we’re able to take tests.

Marydoll Sat 02-Jul-22 13:28:45

I know of two people recently, who were diagnosed with bowel cancer after the routine screening.
Neither had any symptoms, so it probably saved their lives.

It doesn't bother me at all, but I can understand why you are anxious. When I was teaching, many of us were the same age and used to receive the tests at the same time.
We used to joke about it, it was a way of dealing with it. The young teachers were aghast at what it entailed.

b1zzle Sat 02-Jul-22 13:34:03

For years I avoided responding to the bowel cancer test when it came through the post - didn't want to know/was too frightened to find out if there was a problem.

Until this year. Having spent the last eighteen months having melanomas removed from my face I decided to do the test and send it in, thinking that I might as well know the worst.

It came back negative.

maddyone Sat 02-Jul-22 13:34:23

I always feel a bit anxious until I receive the ‘all clear’ letter. The same with the breast screening. Nonetheless I do them, my husband refuses to do the bowel screening test, which worries me a lot.

Kate1949 Sat 02-Jul-22 13:38:07

Yes me. I've just done one and got a clear result. I was shaking opening the letter. Natural I think.

Witzend Sat 02-Jul-22 13:38:23

Yes, Always a bit twitchy until I get the all-clear letter.
Thank goodness for the tests, though - my DF and MiL both died of bowel cancer that was picked up far too late.

MerylStreep Sat 02-Jul-22 13:45:56

My lovely father in law wouldn’t / couldn’t discuss anything to do with toilet issues. Bowel cancer killed him. 😥
Me, I take every test going. This wonderful technology has been developed for our benefit and save lives. /b

Kate1949 Sat 02-Jul-22 13:55:35

My friend's father died of bowel cancer. She won't take the tests as she is 'too scared.'

Calendargirl Sat 02-Jul-22 14:25:32

‘When ignorance is bliss, ‘tis folly to be wise’.

But not in matters of our health. I think we are fortunate to be offered free bowel and breast cancer checks, and anyone who doesn’t take advantage for fear of the results is just sticking their head in the sand.

Kate1949 Sat 02-Jul-22 14:28:37

I agree Calendar It's the 'cancer happens to other people ' attitude.

J52 Sat 02-Jul-22 14:35:51

Bowel and Breast cancer screenings are two of the least invasive tests for major killers. Taking the tests not only saves lives, a lot of heartache and cost of treatment.

Granmarderby10 Sat 02-Jul-22 14:38:31

Hello Nana56 No it is not ridiculous to be anxious about doing the bowel cancer test.
The tests are targeted at the over 60s aren’t they? - because age is a risk factor.
I have blithely attended all my cervical and breast screening appointments without a thought for the outcome really and luckily so far all’s been well.
I have a feeling that as this test is a relatively new kid on the block there is a tendency to over focus on the negative outcomes because it has been less talked about generally and people aren’t as informed about that part of our body.

It is also about poo and embarrassment and getting older seems to tap into all the worries about becoming incapacitated.

So just take the test and forget about iit.
If anything shows up then you are better off knowing than not and wondering “what if”
Early diagnosis would lead to early treatment and that is the really good news
Don’t be afraid of fear or ashamed to admit your worries it’s human.
My best wishes and take it easy Nana🙂

M0nica Sat 02-Jul-22 14:57:02

MerylStreep I totally agree with you.

DDiL's DF died of bowel cancer when he was 40 and she was 6. Others in the family have had the disease and died as well.

She and her sister had genetic screening and it looks as if, cross fingers, neither has the gene that made others in their family vulnerable to the disease, but they are both still screened every 2 years. both have now lived over a decade longer than their father.

To refuse testing for almost anything strikes me as selfish and uncaring. As for not doing it, when a disease is in the. family, because you are scared you might find out you have got it, well words fail me.

maddyone Sat 02-Jul-22 15:23:04

To refuse testing for almost anything strikes me as selfish and uncaring.

As I said, my husband refuses to test. Although he is generally a good husband and a wonderful father and grandfather, on this issue he is stubborn and selfish. The one and only bowel screen he did resulted in him being called in for a colonoscopy. It turned out to be polyps and they were removed. The result was that he now refuses to do the test saying he’s not going to all that rigmarole again when there’s nothing wrong. I completely disagree with him over this, but what can I do?

Additionally, my BiL (not husband’s brother, my sister’s husband) died from bowel cancer. He did the screening test, it was discovered to be cancer and so he was treated. He was told he was clear, but it returned within six months and killed him in less than a year. So my husband uses this too, saying ‘well the test didn’t help Mike did it?’

Auntieflo Sat 02-Jul-22 15:28:24

We both did the tests when they were sent.

But now, presumably because we are too old, DH is 83, I am 80, they are no longer sent out to us.

Kate1949 Sat 02-Jul-22 15:33:26

Two of my brothers-in-law don't do it either. They put it straight in the bin. Like I said, cancer won't happen to them so they don't need to bother. Strange attitude.

wildswan16 Sat 02-Jul-22 15:35:34

Maybe I'm odd but I don't feel anxious at all about the results. I'm just grateful that the tests are available, and I know that the tests would catch anything at an early stage and it would therefore be treatable.

I would be more anxious if the tests were not available and I would be thinking I could have a cancer and not be aware of it.

Aveline Sat 02-Jul-22 15:38:52

The test is so much easier now. The old one was a bit of a thought over three days but this one is fine. Very happy to receive a slim envelope with negative result.
I am apprehensive about other screening tests though. Worrying more as I get older.

Coolgran65 Sat 02-Jul-22 16:41:02

I do it each time it arrives and fortunately it has always been negative. My DH won't do it, Just like he won't do the home Covid test (unless it proved absolutely necessary). Neither of us have had Covid.
I'm going to steal the attitude of an above poster
""To refuse testing for almost anything strikes me as selfish and uncaring."" and use this the next time a test arises.

AGAA4 Sat 02-Jul-22 16:50:45

I always do the bowel test. I almost didn't do what would have been my last mammogram. My DDs urged me to go. I had early breast cancer.
Have the tests. They can be scary but much worse if a cancer is found too late.

Oldbat1 Sat 02-Jul-22 17:01:27

Husband has bowel cancer picked up in 2013 from poo test. Since then he has had two major surgeries and two 6month cycles of chemo. Cancer has metastasised to lungs and liver and he is now on palliative care. IF it had been picked up earlier it may have been cured. More chemotherapy likely to start with the hope of buying more time but the chemotherapy is so awful he may decide not to have more. My advice DO THE POO TEST.

FarNorth Sat 02-Jul-22 17:16:01

Good advice Oldbat1 and I'm very sorry to hear about your husband.

Nana56 it's not ridiculous to feel nervous but please summon up your determination and do the test.
Most likely, all will be fine but if it isn't you have a head start on dealing with it.

MissAdventure Sat 02-Jul-22 17:21:55

I wouldn't be afraid of the test results, but the thought of all the procedures ot might involve if I had cancer.
I'm a terrible coward.

FarNorth Sat 02-Jul-22 17:24:06

Auntieflo you can request a test, if you want one.

"Bowel cancer screening is offered every 2 years to men and women aged 60 to 74. People older than this can ask for a screening kit every 2 years by calling the free helpline on 0800 707 60 60."
www.gov.uk/guidance/bowel-cancer-screening-programme-overview

Likewise in Scotland
"In Scotland, only people aged 50 to 74 will be invited for bowel screening every 2 years.
If you’re 75 or over, you can still take a bowel screening test every 2 years. However, you’ll need to request a new test kit each time as the Scottish Bowel Screening Centre won't send you one."
www.nhsinform.scot/healthy-living/screening/bowel/bowel-screening