Someone in your family may have had bowel cancer (also called colorectal cancer) or colonic polyps and you may be concerned about your risk. Having a close relative with bowel cancer or bowel polyps increases your chance of developing these conditions. If you are in this situation it may be worth considering a “screening” colonoscopy where the colon is viewed with a thin flexible telescope. This test can pick up polyps in the colon which, if left over years, these little lumps can develop into bowel cancer and removing them during colonoscopy stops this happening. Bowel cancer is the second most common cancer in the UK and can be prevented by screening. A bowel cancer screening programme for over 60 has started in the UK testing for blood in faeces and in the USA people over 50 are offered colonoscopy. You may have already had a faecal occult blood test and if this is ‘positive’ a colonoscopy is advised. Why not listen to Dr Pollok talking about bowel cancer and colonoscopy in a recent radio interview.