Colon cancer body faces uphill task to enlist test subjects

Colon Cancer Concern has admitted that it may not be easy to persuade people to take part in the bowel cancer screening programme announced by the Government last month because of public squeamishness about one of the procedures involved (Third Sector, 3 November).

The charity has spent years lobbying the Government to pilot bowel cancer screening programmes.

Last month, Colon Cancer Concern finally won its bid, but older people will have to be persuaded to take two kinds of test from April 2006.

The first test involves taking a stool sample at home, and sending it away for medical examination.

The second test requires a self-enema to be carried out, described by the charity as "not painful, but a little uncomfortable".

This is followed by a 15-minute procedure during which a doctor inserts a thin tube with a light on the end into the rectum, to examine the lower bowel.

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