England rolls out FIT kits, reduces age for bowel cancer screening to 50

Public Health England announced late this week bowel cancer screening in the country will now start at age 50, not 60, the BBC reported.

The organization attributed the transition to evidence that’s shown screening people for bowel cancer at a younger age will allow more cancers to be picked up at earlier stages or prevented. Right now, men and women in England are first invited for the screening at 60 years old, when a letter and home test kit are sent to their doorstep as reminders.

According to the BBC, the plan is to start sending more effective fecal immunochemical home tests known as “FIT kits” to British residents aged 60 and up in the fall. In the future, Public Health England said the kits will be rolled out to younger residents to accommodate the new screening regulations.

“With the roll-out of FIT as a new bowel screening test from the autumn—a much more convenient and reliable test—we have a real opportunity to reshape our bowel screening program and potentially detect the stages of bowel cancer much earlier,” Steve Brine, the public health minister, told the BBC. “We are now considering opportunities and taking expert advice on how a sustainable, optimal bowel cancer screening program starting at age 50 can work in the future.”

Read the BBC’s full report at the link below.