Bowel cancer screening
Welcome to the Exeter, Mid, East and North Devon Bowel Cancer Screening Service
A national programme for bowel cancer screening was introduced in 2006. The Bowel Cancer Screening Centre went live in June 2009, serving the Exeter, Mid, East and North Devon population and operates from two sites:
The national programme aims to detect bowel cancer at an early stage, when treatment is more likely to be effective. Bowel cancer screening can also detect polyps. These are not cancers, but may develop into cancers over time and can be removed easily, reducing the risk of bowel cancer developing.
Why is screening important?
- 1 in 15 men and 1 in 18 women in the UK will develop bowel cancer during their lifetime
- It is the fourth most common cancer in the UK, and the second biggest cancer killer - over 16,000 people die each year (Cancer Research UK 2019 statistics)
- Regular bowel cancer screening has been shown to reduce the risk of dying from bowel cancer by 16% (Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2006)
More on what we do
Screening is available to men and women aged 60 to 74, who are registered with a GP. Anybody above the age of 74 can choose to 'opt in'. An invitation will be sent to subjects, followed by their Faecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) which they will do in the privacy of their own homes.
The FIT, pictured on the right, is designed to detect tiny amounts of blood invisible to the human eye which can be the indication for polyps and bowel cancer.
If an abnormal result is detected, you will be invited to attend a clinic appointment where a specialist screening practitioner will assess your health and suitability for an investigation. This could be one of two types:
- CT virtual colonoscopy (CT pneumocolon)
The FIT does not diagnose bowel cancer and there are a number of bowel abnormalities which can cause bleeding, some of these include: polyps, diverticulitis, haemorrhoids, anal fissures, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.
Following a positive FIT, you will be invited to meet with a specialist nurse to discuss your FIT result and to complete a health assessment to ascertain fitness for a colonoscopy or CT colonoscopy. A specialist nurse follows you through the bowel cancer screening service and is with you when you have your colonoscopy, followed up with a courtesy call to ensure you have recovered well.
The specialist nurse will inform you of your result. If nothing is found, then you will receive a FIT every two years until your 75th birthday. Any person that has polyps, depending on the type and amount, may be offered surveillance. Any person found to have a cancer will be discussed at a multi-disciplinary meeting and will be handed over to the hospital symptomatic service for any treatment that is required.
The team consists of a programme manager and two lead administrators, a lead nurse and seven full/part-time specialist screening practitioners.
The team at Royal Devon and Exeter Wonford Hospital:
- Dr Reuben Ayres Gastroenterologist, Accredited Bowel Screening Colonoscopist
- Dr Tarek Shirazi Gastroenterologist, Accredited Bowel Screening Colonoscopist
- Dr Simon Harries Lead Radiologist
- Dr Tanwen Wright Lead Pathologist
- Margaret Parle Lead Nurse
- Cindy Collier Specialist Screening Practitioner
- Isabella Amstici Specialist Screening Practitioner
- Cristiano Tocca Specialist Screening Practitioner
- Katherine Curley Specialist Screening Practitioner
- Janet Gayton Specialist Screening Practitioner
- Rebecca Luckie Specialist Screening Practitioner
- Sharon Moraes Programme Manager
- Louise Lowe Lead Screening Administrator
- Laura Loman Lead Screening Administrator
The team at North Devon District Hospital
- Dr Alex Moran Service Director, Gastroenterologist, Accredited Screening Colonoscopist
- Dr Alex Milson Lead Radiologist
- Dr Nick Ward Lead Pathologist
- Amanda Disney Specialist Screening Practitioner
Where to find us
RD&E Wonford, Barrack Rd, Exeter EX2 5DW
North Devon District Hospital, Raleigh Park, Barnstaple EX31 4JB
Call the helpline on 01392 404645 or email rde-tr.BCS@nhs.net, Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm.
You can also contact members of the team on the numbers listed below:
Contact the team at Royal Devon and Exeter Wonford Hospital:
- Dr Shirazi's secretary: 01392 406220
- Dr Harries' Secretary: 01392 403792
- Dr Wright's Secretary: 01392 408625
- Margaret Parle: 01392 404643
- Cindy Collier: 01392 404642
- Isabella Amstici: 01392 408758
- Cristiano Tocca: 01392 404733
- Katherine Curley: 01392 404644
- Janet Gayton: 01392 404642
- Rebecca Luckie: 01392 404644
- Sharon Moraes: 01392 408373
- Louise Lowe & Laura Loman: 01392 404645
Contact the team at North Devon District Hospital:
- Dr Moran's secretary: 01271 322734
- Dr Milson's secretary: 01271 322619
- Dr Ward's secretary: 01271 349197
- Amanda Disney: 01271 314099