FAQ 21

The NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme helpline is 0800 707 6060

How can I tell if I have a functioning colon?

The colon is part of the digestive system and stores waste material before passing it out through the rectum. (Click here for a video describing this process.) People who do not have a functioning colon cannot do this and need to make continuous use of a pouch/colostomy bag.

You may have to use a colostomy bag temporarily, eg following treatment. If so, you should be screened in the usual way, when invited, once it is removed.

If, having read this, you're still unsure whether you have a functioning colon you should check with your GP before accepting a screening invitation.

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