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SELFCheck Bowel Health Test

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Self Test
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x1 Kit
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Treatment Information

Table of contents

SELFCheck Bowel Health Test

SELFCheck’s simple and reliable Bowel Health Test is an easy-to-use home screening test for colon polyps. Polyps are small growths that grow inside the colon. While they are usually benign, they can sometimes develop into a cancerous tumour.

According to the NHS, bowel polyps affect around a quarter of those over the age of 50. Polyps in the bowel may not cause any symptoms for some people. Though some people experience mucus or blood in their stool, constipation, diarrhoea or abdominal pain.

However, as polyps may not cause any symptoms, it's not easy to tell whether you have them or not. With the SELFCheck Bowel Health Test, you can screen for polyps at home.

The sooner polyps are detected, the sooner they can be removed, preventing the risk of bowel cancer.

According to Cancer Research UK, 54% of bowel cancer cases in the UK are preventable. The highest cause of bowel cancer is eating too little fibre. In the UK, bowel cancer is the 4th most common cancer, accounting for 11% of all cancer diagnoses.

Discussing matters pertaining the bowels with your doctor can be embarrassing or awkward. But with a home screening test, such as the SELFCheck Bowel Health test, you can take a quick and simple test without leaving your house.

The test kit contains everything you need to collect the sample and get your results in mere minutes, without the need to send off the sample to a lab.

Order your test kit before 3pm on a weekday, and our pharmacy can dispatch your item the same day for delivery tomorrow. We ensure your item is packaged in plain packaging which gives no indication of its contents.

Who Should Use The SELFCheck Bowel Health Test?

Anybody can use the SELFCheck Bowel Health Test to detect polyps.

It is often recommended that people over the age of 40 should take an annual faecal occult blood (FOB) test to determine their risk.

If you have any doubt about your bowel health, you can use this test kit for peace of mind.

Do remember that this home test kit is not a replacement for a consultation with your doctor. You should not take any medical decision without discussing it with your doctor first.

How Does The SELFCheck Bowel Health Test Work?

SELFCheck’s Bowel Health Test is a faecal immunochemical test (FIT) which is sensitive to 30µg/g of faeces, making it more sensitive than typical FOB tests available on the NHS.

The test detects the presence of haemoglobin (hHB) in stools - a common symptom of polyps.

However, blood in your poo could be a sign of other conditions, such as haemorrhoids.

Some medicines such as aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g Ibuprofen), glucocorticoids and cumarin derivatives can cause gastrointestinal bleeding which may result in a false-positive.

How accurate is the SELFCheck Bowel Health Test?

In a clinical trial involving 138 participants, the test detected 91% of all cancer cases in people who were scheduled a colonoscopy.

How Do I Use The SELFCheck Bowel Health Test?

Before you start using the test kit, make sure you read and understand the provided instructions.

Check the expiry date on the test and inspect the foil packet covering the cassette. Do not use the test if the foil is damaged.

The test can be taken at any time of day during a bowel movement. There are no special instructions regarding diet before you take the test.

However, women should not take the test during or within 3 days of having a period.

When acquiring the sample, do not allow the stool to come into contact with the toilet water.

Each test kit contains:

  • 1 test cassette
  • 1 desiccant
  • 1 sample container with buffer solution and collection stick
  • Instructions for use

You will also need a reliable timing device, such as a watch with a second hand or a stopwatch, and a clean tissue. These are not included with the test.

Take care when removing the cassette from the foil pouch. Tear along the notch in foil. Avoid touching the testing area of the cassette.

Inside the foil pouch, you will find a desiccant - a small white package that is used to prevent moisture. Throw the desiccant away in your household waste out of sight and reach from children and pets. Do not open the desiccant.

Simply collect the sample, mix it with the buffer solution and apply it to the spot on the test cassette.

Set a timer for 5 minutes after adding the sample to the cassette. After 10 minutes, the results cannot be read reliably.

Your results will come out in one of 3 ways:

  • 2 lines = Positive
  • 1 line = Negative
  • 0 lines = Invalid

If your test result is positive, speak to your doctor as soon as you can. Your doctor will be able to arrange further tests to investigate further.

If your test result comes back negative, but you are experiencing symptoms such as blood in your stools, abdominal pain, or abnormal bowel habits, arrange an appointment with your doctor.

In the event that your test result is invalid, check that you have followed the steps correctly. You may need to take another test.

When you have finished using your test and read your result, you can discard of all the testing apparatus in your household waste.

What should I do if the results detects polyps in my bowel?

If the test returns a positive result, this means that it has detected polyps.

While most polyps will be benign and non-cancerous, you should always get them checked by a doctor. If a polyp is detected, your doctor can assess whether there is a risk of the polyp being cancerous, and discuss treatments with you.

How Are Bowel Polyps Treated?

Bowel polyps are treated during a procedure known as a colonoscopy. This is when a camera is inserted through the back-passage and up through your large intestine.

The polyps are found and either burned off (cauterised) or cut out (snared). While you are not unconscious throughout this procedure, pain relief and sedatives can be administered by the doctors and nurses looking after you.

A sample of the polyp may be sent off to a laboratory for further testing. This is to ensure whether the removed growth is benign or cancerous. If it is found that the polyp was cancerous, further testing and treatment may be initiated.

You may need to be kept in hospital overnight following your procedure. Though in some cases, it's possible for you to go home the same day.

It's important to get polyps treated as soon as you can. Getting polyps treated as soon as they are detected can help to prevent further complications down the road.


NHS, 2020. Bowel Polyps

Authored & Reviewed By

Mohamed Imran Lakhi

Mohamed Imran Lakhi

MPharm - Lead Pharmacist
Imran Lakhi is the superintendent pharmacist and founder at Prescription Doctor. He has been at the core of our team.

Published on: 27/06/2022 Reviewed on: 13/03/2024

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