Why is poo so taboo? Let's talk toilet and bowel movements

Life-saving bowel screening


This year marks the 10th anniversary of the NHS Bowel Screening Programme in England and more than 25,300 cancers have been diagnosed because of it but, although it's the UK's second biggest cancer killer, bowel cancer is a disease often overlooked and diagnosed too late.

Alarmingly, only 56% of the people eligible for screening - men and women aged 60-74 - actually take up the offer, fuelled chiefly by a combination of fear, embarrassment and denial.

The more accurate and simple Faecal Immunochemical Test (requiring only one poo sample) has already increased uptake but, if we remain reticent to talk about the topic and largely embarrassed to share details, how will we know what we flush away is normal and healthy?

Talking about poo really can save lives, with regular screening enabling early diagnosis and treatment. So, by simply getting over the embarrassment of discussing faeces, we can all then face a healthy relationship with our bowels.