Locals urged to 'take the test' as bowel cancer roadshow hits Lothian

The Take the Test Roadshow aimed at raising awareness of bowel cancer and highlighting the benefits of screening to people in Lothian will visit  Westside Plaza on Wednesday 27 February and Asda in Newhaven on Thursday 28 February from 9am to 5pm.

The tour will also highlight the importance of screening to fans attending the Hearts v Motherwell football match at Tynecastle on 2 March and the Hibernian v Inverness CT at Easter Road Stadium on 30 March.

The nation-wide, 34-stop tour will roll into locations across Scotland as part of the Scottish Government’s Detect Cancer Early campaign to encourage people between the ages of 50 and 74 to participate in the Scottish Bowel Screening programme.

Although almost 4,000 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer every year in Scotland,  just over half (54.5 per cent) of those who are eligible to participate in the Scottish Bowel Screening Programme every two years, actually do the test.

Currently, take-up of bowel screening in Lothian is 52.4 per cent, so more people need to understand the benefits of participation in the programme.

The new campaign includes a TV advert featuring the voice of Still Game star Ford Kiernan to highlight that bowel cancer is the third most common strain of the disease in Scotland.  The campaign carries the message ‘Bowel Cancer. Don’t Take A Chance. Take The Test’ to highlight the fact that bowel cancer is a ‘hidden’ cancer, because the early signs are often not visible.

The Detect Cancer Early tour will offer help and advice to people in Lothian on how to take the test and staff will be available to answer any questions around the disease. An interactive presentation will be on site to allow local people to view the new advert and to help illustrate the bowel cancer screening test.  Roadshow staff will also give away toilet shaped air fresheners and mini toilet tissue packs to encourage local people to pass on the message to their friends and relatives. 

Dr Dermot Gorman, Consultant in Public Health, NHS Lothian said: “Bowel cancer is the third most common cancer in Scotland and especially when detected at an early stage, it’s highly treatable - nine out of ten people survive if it’s caught early. 

“The signs of bowel cancer including blood in the bowel motion, can be unnoticeable and the screening programme is the best way to detect this. We would urge everyone between 50 to 74 years old to find out more about the benefits of taking the bowel screening test and to participate every two years.
“It’s important to break down some of the taboos around the private nature of bowel cancer and we welcome the Detect Cancer Early Roadshow to Lothian. This will help to raise awareness about this important public health issue.”

While the Screening Programme remains the best way to detect bowel cancer you should never ignore changes to your health. Local people are advised to make an appointment with their GP if they spot any unusual or persistent changes to their bowel movements, even in between screenings.

For information on the screening programme, contact the Scottish Bowel Screening Helpline on 0800 0121 833 or visit www.bowelscreeningtest.org

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For further information contact Nicola Armstrong at Consolidated PR on 0131 240 6420 or nicolaa@consolidatedpr.com

Notes to editors

The Detect Cancer Early Roadshow will visit the following locations over February and March 2013 between the hours of 9am and 5pm:


27 February

Wester Hails

Westside Plaza

28 February



02 March


Hearts v Motherwell

30 March


Hibernian v Inverness CT


Roadshow staff will be in attendance.