People in Greater Manchester, who have been sent a lifesaving home testing kit that can detect early signs of bowel cancer, are being encouraged to use it and return it, as part of a new, first of a kind NHS campaign.

The NHS national campaign – which sees adverts across TV, radio and social media, aims to increase uptake of the home testing kit to ensure more people are diagnosed with bowel cancer at the earliest stage, when they’re nine times more likely to survive.

The campaign highlights how quick and convenient it is to complete the test.

Latest data shows the proportion of people choosing to participate in bowel screening has increased to 70.3% – the highest on record. However, almost one third (30%) of people aren’t returning their test kit.

Each month, the NHS posts out more than half a million free Faecal Immunochemical Test kits (FIT) to people to use in the privacy of their homes.

The FIT kit detects small amounts of blood in poo- that would not be visible to people – before someone may notice anything is wrong.

It’s quicker to use than the previous bowel cancer screening home testing kit. To use it, people simply need to collect a tiny sample of poo using the plastic stick provided, pop it in the sample bottle; and send it free of charge to the NHS for tests in a laboratory.

Screening is vital in helping the NHS detect bowel cancer at the earliest stage, when it is more likely to be successfully treated.

Greater Manchester Cancer Alliance and NHS chiefs have urged people not to be “prudish about poo”, with people often reluctant to talk about it as a possible bowel cancer symptom due to embarrassment.