How To Take Your Sample

Bowel Cancer Screening is one of the important ways you can reduce your chances of getting bowel cancer - by spotting it early!

If you've received a kit you can follow the steps and videos below to understand how to use the kit, if you wish to order a kit please contact us on 0800 707 6060

How to use your pack: Videos



How to use your pack

You can follow these steps to complete you pack, or view our instructional videos below.

  • Step 1: Put the date on the front of the first flap on the kit.
  • Step 2: Lay out the screening kit and sample sticks where they are easy to reach e.g. on the sink, toilet cistern, side of bath etc. Make sure a plastic bag is ready nearby.
  • Step 3: Collect your sample. A suggested way of collecting your sample is to catch it in a disposable container - line a container with paper, then place that disposable container in the toilet.
  • Step 4: Open the first flap. Using a clean stick, scrape a small amount of poo from your sample, and smear it in the first window. Dispose of the stick in to the plastic bag.
  • Step 5: Use a clean stick and take another sample from another part of the poo, smear it into the second window, put the stick into the plastic bag. Flush the rest of your poo and tissue down the toilet.
  • Step 6: Store your kit away until the next time you go for a poo. Put the used sticks and your container (and glove) into the plastic bag, put the bag into an outside bin.
  • Step 7: The next time you go for a poo, write the date on the second flap, and then take another sample. Finally, the next time you go for a poo, write the date on the third flap and repeat the process.
  • Step 8: Place the screening kit into the FREEPOST envelope provided and post it.

Top Tips

Make sure you have the following items close at hand each time you collect a sample for your kit:

  • A step by step leaflet is included in your pack (make sure you read this before you start).
  • A clean, disposable container such as the plastic containers fruit and veg are sold in (thoroughly clean) plus some toilet paper.
  • A plastic bag, open & ready to put things in.
  • Your bowel screening kit and 2 of the sticks that were provided for you.

When storing the test, although it is unlikely to smell, you can:

  • Put the test in a plastic bag
  • Keep the test in a clean container with a lid
  • Use the return envelope to store the kit

Support and information

For people with loose bowel motions or diarrhoea

Having loose bowel motions will not affect the test result. It may be easier to use a container to collect your poo if you have loose bowel motions, but you still need to put your bowel motion samples onto the kit.

For people who have irregular bowel movements

Constipation is common; it affects about 1 in 8 people. It may take a little longer to collect your three samples, but you can still do the test. After taking your first sample, you still have 14 days to take two more samples and return the test.

Storing your kit

It is a good idea to keep your test in a handy place near your toilet. Please remember to keep the test away from direct sunlight or heat.

Returning your test kit

You have 14 days after taking your first sample to return the test, using the hygienic envelope provided.

The envelope is completely safe to send in the post.


If you have any questions about the test or bowel cancer screening then you can call: 0800 707 6060

All calls are answered by trained staff. Please do not feel embarrassed to ask for more information or advice.

Have you received a screening pack? Learn more about how to complete and return it.



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