BowelScreen: The National Bowel Screening Programme
BowelScreen is the National Bowel Screening Programme which offers free bowel screening to people aged 59 to 69 every 2 years.
Bowel screening aims to detect signs of bowel cancer at an early stage, where there are no symptoms.
How much does the test cost?
The test is free and is done by you at home. You need to be on the bowel screening register to be sent an invitation to receive a home screening test kit. See ‘How to register for BowelScreen’ below.
Contact your GP if you have any symptoms of bowel cancer. Never ignore symptoms, even if you have had a recent normal screening result.
The BowelScreen test
You will be sent a screening test kit that includes step-by-step instructions for self-administration of the test at home. The HSE will post the free test to you.
You then send the completed test back to BowelScreen using the pre-paid envelope provided. Your test results will be sent to you within 4 weeks. If you have registered your GP details, they will also receive a copy of your results.
If you get an abnormal result from your sample, you’ll be offered a colonoscopy appointment.
How to register for BowelScreen
Bowel cancer screening is available to all people aged 59 to 69 living in Ireland.
BowelScreen puts together a register of people eligible for screening from details supplied by the Department of Social Protection, General Medical Services and private health insurance providers. However, some people are not included on any of these lists.
If you haven’t received an invitation for bowel screening, you can check if you are on the register online or by calling Freephone 1800 45 45 55. If you are not on the register, you can register for bowel screen online or add your details over the phone.