Cancer Research UK is concerned that as many as 1,100 people a year in England with bowel cancer are not being picked up because the NHS there used a higher threshold than Scotland in screening for the disease using the faecal immunochemical test. In Scotland those whose testing shows they have 80 micrograms of haemoglobin per gram of faeces are referred to have a colonoscopy to determine if they have bowel cancer.Advertisement. In contrast, in England only those with 120 micrograms go on to have further investigation. That is despite research showing that the lower the threshold, the more cases are detected and thus lives are saved.
Bowel cancer screening starts at 50 in Scotland. It begins at 55 in England.