Interview 05

Age at interview: 67
Brief Outline: Invited to be screened in 2001, when aged 62, and again in 2005, when aged 66. The results of the Faecal Occult Blood (FOB) tests were both normal.
Background: A white British man, semi-retired electrician, widowed, 2 children.

More about me...

He was invited to be screened for bowel cancer in 2001, when aged 62, and again in 2005, when aged 66. The results of the Faecal Occult Blood (FOB) tests were both normal. He expects to do another test sometime in the future. 


When he received the invitation he wasn't surprised because he had read about the programme.

Yes was invited in 2001, I knew the invitation would be going out, I had seen information either in the press or something at the doctor's but I was aware that an invitation would come so I wasn't surprised when I got it. I was quite happy about it really, I didn't feel there was any problem. The test seemed fairly straight forward. Probably a little bit, well it could be a bit awkward you know it was a bit of a, 'What's lollipop stick for?' you know sort of thing. But once I'd done it I didn't find any problems at all and sent it off. The results came back fairly quick, it wasn't a long drawn out process, it was, I think it was back within sort of 10-14 days. I suppose when it came back you sort of look at the envelope and think, 'Oh I know what that is'. But you've got to open it, you've got to read it and of course fortunately it was clear.


The information was adequate for his needs.

When you got the information leaflet what did you think of it, the initial, the one that came with the invitation to be screened?

Well I just felt it was self explanatory, there was, it was covered, everything I needed to know I think really so I didn't see any problems with that either at all because you know the information was there, adequate for what I wanted. I wasn't looking for details. So the basics were there and that was adequate for as far as I was concerned.


Thinks that receiving results through the post is 'as good a way as any'.

And you got the results through the post, do you think that's the best way to get the results?

I think it's as good a way as any. I mean I think if you got a phone call, phone calls are not always a convenient time for you to, to receive the call.

I mean you know you may, they can be okay and then other times you think, 'Oh that's not a very good call time to call.' If you receive it in the post, generally of course you've got an idea what it is, so you decide for yourself when you can, when you're going to open it, or even if you don't open it [laughs].


He decided to be screened because he thought his GP was involved and that his GP supported the...

Now what, what was the main reason for you deciding you would take part?

Mainly I think because the original letter said that this was a pilot, it was a pilot of this area and it was something that was going to become nationwide. If I remember rightly the referral had come from the doctors in that certain surgeries had agreed that they were in favour of it and that the patient, they would therefore give patients' names. So I felt that if, if my GP was saying it's a good idea to have it done then fair enough, so I had it done, or I did the test myself, you know what I mean?

So that's important, so you felt it was, that was quite an important factor influencing you, the fact it came from your GP?

Yes, yes.

Did you feel you had any choice or was it something you really felt you didn't have much choice about?

No felt I'd got a choice but I didn't feel that I needed a choice, I felt that it was, really it was essential that I, I went ahead and had the screening done.

Were there any other factors apart from the fact that your GP was recommending it do you think that swayed you to go ahead?

No not really no, I don't think so.


The letter with the results included a list of the symptoms of bowel cancer but it did not affect...

I think the letter tells you about the basic symptoms of bowel cancer, did you make a note of those and has that changed how you look at your stools or look at your motions at all?


Or has it alerted you to the fact that you must be aware of other, of certain things for the future?

No I don't think so. I certainly don't sort of spend time thinking about it and certainly when I go to the toilet, no, I don't sort of, 'Oh well I must have a look at that', you know, 'that looks a bit different today than it did last week', no. And I don't think I'm the sort of person that sort of worries about that too much anyway [laughs].

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