Bowel cancer screening

BowelScreen home test

Bowel cancer screening is used to detect cancer in people who have no symptoms. 

Screening helps to detect bowel cancer at an early stage when there is a much better chance of treating it successfully. 

In Ireland screening is organised by the HSE BowelScreen programme.

About BowelScreen 

Who is BowelScreen for?

You can get bowel cancer screening if you are age 59 to 69 and live in Ireland. 

You will get your first home screening test between your 59th and 61st birthday. Then you will be offered a home test every 2 years.

You need to be on the bowel screening register before you’re offered a home screening test.

Check you're on the BowelScreen register

If you’re aged 59-69 you should check you’re on the Bowel Screen register:

Online: By filling in your details

Freephone: 1800 45 45 55


What does screening involve?

Screening involves taking a small sample of your poo (stool sample) using a test kit you use at home. BowelScreen sends you the test kit in the post. 

You use the kit to collect a small sample of your poo, using a sample stick.

You place the sample stick in a special tube and send it back in a sealed envelope for testing in a laboratory.

This test looks for blood in your poo. Blood can be present for many non-serious reasons. But it could also be an early warning sign of bowel cancer.


Watch a short video on how BowelScreen works
Getting results

You’ll get a letter with your results within 4 weeks of sending the sample.

There are 2 types of results you can get:

  • normal
  • not normal

Normal: You will be invited for routine screening again in 2 years. 

You still need to be aware of any symptoms and go to your GP to get them checked, even if you have had a normal screen or are due one soon. 

Not normal: This means the amount of blood found in your poo is above the screening limit. This does not mean you definitely have cancer, but you will be referred for a further test called a colonoscopy to check your bowel.

More about BowelScreen

For more information on the screening programme:

Freephone 1800 45 45 55


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Remember, if you have any symptoms at any time - before or after screening - please see your GP.

Read more about bowel cancer symptoms.

For more information

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1800 200 700

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