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Community nurses could increase bowel cancer screening rates

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Bowel cancer home screening rates can be positively influenced by community nurses, deputy director of the NHS Cancer Screening Programmes Richard Winder told Independent Nurse.

‘A community nurse can be a real help in encouraging men and women to complete and return their home bowel cancer screening kit,' said Mr Winder. ‘Being on hand to address queries their patients may have, which can be confidentially discussed during an appointment or home visit, means that a community nurse can help reduce any anxieties a person may have about completing the kit.'

The screening process is available to everyone over the age of 60, who will receive a Faecal Occult test (FOB) through the post. Those over 60 make up over 80 per cent of cases.

The condition is the fourth most common cancer, but it suffers from poor awareness among the public, the charity Beat Bowel Cancer has said.

The faecal immunochemical test (FIT), which has numerous potential advantages over the FOB, such as greater accuracy and accessibility, will be introduced this month.

This April is Bowel Cancer Awareness month. For more information, visit: http://www.beatingbowelcancer.org/

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