Interview 25

Age at interview: 62
Brief Outline: She was invited to be screened for bowel cancer in 2006, when aged 62. At first she was reluctant to take part, but then decided to do the Faecal Occult Blood (FOB) test, which was normal.
Background: A white English woman, a retired shop assistant, divorced, no children.

More about me...

She was invited to be screened for bowel cancer in 2006, when aged 62. At first she was reluctant to take part. This was partly because she was scared that something abnormal would be found, partly because she disliked the idea of having a colonoscopy and partly because she was worried that her test kit and samples might get lost or opened in the post. Eventually she decided to do the Faecal Occult Blood (FOB) test, which was normal.

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She stored her test kit in a cool place while waiting to collect the next sample.

Yes. Did you find it all quite straight forward, the information?

Yes, yes really straight forward really every instruction and every; you just, you just follow it, it couldn't be simpler.

Oh that's good, and where did you store it [the test kit] in between each day?

In me bogy hole, in my bogy hole, yeah I've got, it's like where I put the brooms and everything and it's got to be cool you see. Well everywhere is heated in this flat so I just got the first one and put it back in the envelope and shut it in the bogy hole. I thought I'm not doing another one, but I did.

Yes, and then you finally put it in the post?


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She delayed doing the test, partly because she was scared of what the doctors might find.

You said you were frightened [of taking part in screening]. What was your main fear?

Finding out I'd got something wrong because I mean everybody checks themselves, don't they, like for blood or anything like that but I mean this could detect even if you didn't see it with the naked eye. So I mean like, I thought, 'I think I'm alright, well I know, you know I know I'm alright', but then I thought, 'Well may be you're not, may be you're not'.

Mm and what was your huge worry if they found something wrong? 

I think it was if I'd got to go to hospital, I didn't mind doing a test again, I mean that's simple, you do it yourself. I'm not very keen on having things pushed up my body you know what I mean like? But there again I'd rather have things up that than down that way.

In the information booklet they said a little bit about colonoscopy.

Yes, yes well I know about that because my sister has had one you see, I know what it was like and what to expect.

So did that affect your decision, the reason for putting it [the test card] in the drawer for a bit?

Yes, yeah it did, it was the next step. The only thing that made me put it in a drawer was if I had got something wrong with me, you know. I mean you always look on the black side, don't you. People do, I think they always think there's going to be something wrong, I know there's going to be something wrong. (')

And the other thing, you said you didn't like the idea of it going in the post.

No I kept thinking about that.

Can you say more about that?

Well like you know, (') I kept thinking, 'What if it gets lost, or they you know, mess with it or something'. I didn't want parts of me going through the post, you know silly things, it was just, it was just another excuse wasn't it?

You were worried about the people at the sorting office?

Daft things, yeah daft things like that. Like you know like them coming back and saying, 'We had to open your mail for so and so and we found,' oh you know. It's just daft things that, you think, 'Oh I'll not do it because that will happen with the post' you know.

How would you feel if that had happened then?

Devastated [laughs] yeah devastated I wouldn't like that at all no I wouldn't. No I'm a very private person, I wouldn't like that at all you know. I'd die, I'd curl up. 

What would your feeling be, you said devastated, what other feelings?

Awful just, you know I don't know I'd feel I don't know just stupid really that you know that that had got opened in the post sort of thing. It was just daft things and these were the sort of things that I was thinking I'm not sending that through the post you know.

So why were you so terrified it might get broken in the post and that the postman would come back with it?

Just the thought, it's just daft things, it was just things to not do it, it was another excuse not to do it so if it went in the drawer that was it, out of my, out of sight the first time and I thought that's it I'm not looking at that, I don't want to know about it see.

And it was the same with the post I thought they'll find it in the post and
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She thought the pilot programme was part of a trial.

Did you enquire at all from anybody how they decide to send it [the invitation to be screened for bowel cancer] to you?

No I just thought, 'Oh you're part of a trial', and that was it, I never queried that, I never even thought about it like than.

It's going to be rolled out to everybody eventually in the whole country.

Well I think it's good, I think it's very good. I often wonder why it's for 60 to 70 age groups, is it 60 to 70 that they sent the trial out?

At the moment yes, it is at the moment.

That surprised me that it was 60 to 70 because I wouldn't have thought it had any respect on age or anything this bowel cancer.

I think it's most common with older people. 

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