Find out what to expect when you come to hospital for your appointment at the bowel cancer screening service.

Before your appointment

If relevant, please ensure you are aware of all your existing medical conditions and if you are taking any medication, it would be helpful to bring a list of this with you to your appointment.

During your appointment

The West London Bowel Cancer Screening Centre (for FOBt apointments) is located at Charing Cross Hospital, on the first floor of the south wing. The Centre comprises a relaxing waiting area, a private consultation room and administration areas. The endoscopy unit (for bowel scope and colonoscopy appointments) is also located at Charing Cross Hospital, on the first floor of the west wing.

You might find it helpful to bring a relative or friend to help you remember what is said and discussed.

At a bowel scope appointment a flexible instrument is passed via the anus to examine the left side of the colon. This examination is extremely safe and takes about five to 10 minutes to perform. It can cause some mild discomfort, and a sensation that you need to go to the toilet, but is not painful. Any small polyps will be removed during this test, but if there are multiple polyps or a large polyp then you will be offered a colonoscopy.

At an abnormal FOBt appointment the nurse will discuss your results with you and will also go through your medical history with you and ask you some questions about your lifestyle. This will help us to decide if a colonoscopy or other test is suitable for you.  

After your appointment

The results of the examination will be given to you prior to leaving the endoscopy unit. If polyps are removed then the analysis of these will be available within five working days. You can either come into the unit to receive these results or we will telephone you.