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Published: 07 June 2024

National Screening Service marks Men’s Health Week 2024 encouraging men to choose screening

We’re marking Men’s Health Week by encouraging all eligible men and boys to #ChooseScreening.

Men’s Health Week takes place from Monday 10 June to Sunday 16 June. This year’s theme is ‘Know your numbers' and the key message to everyone is that men's health counts.

Screening is a practical step that men can take to look after their health.

We’ve rounded up some of our best content to get you up to date on:

Understanding BowelScreen

Bowel screening aims to:

  • prevent cancer from developing by finding and removing early signs of disease (polyps)
  • find cancer at an early stage when it can be easier to treat.

Bowel screening is free. It’s a simple, at-home test kit. We’ll invite you to do the test every 2 years if you’re eligible. It’s for people who do not have any symptoms of bowel cancer.

When you’re fully informed about what bowel screening can and can’t do, you can decide whether or not to choose screening.

We’ve put together all the ways you can get more information, understand what bowel screening is, and how you can make it work for you:

The ins and outs of a colonoscopy

A colonoscopy is a test to look at your bowel using a small camera. We’ll invite you for a colonoscopy if your bowel screening test result showed some traces of blood in your sample. A colonoscopy will help to rule out or confirm that you have a polyp (a small abnormal tissue growth). We know that most bowel cancers develop from polyps. Most polyps are removed during a colonoscopy. This is how we can prevent bowel cancer developing and reduce the chance that you will get bowel cancer in the future.

A colonoscopy can also help to find a cancer. Bowel cancer can be a treatable disease if it’s found at an early stage before a person has any symptoms. Research tells us that cancers found through bowel screening are often found at an earlier stage when they are easier to treat and more likely to be curable. This is why we ask everyone who is eligible to choose bowel screening every time you’re invited.

Find out more about how to prepare for a colonoscopy, where it’s done, how long it will take, and what happens during and after the test:

BowelScreen: Know your numbers

  • BowelScreen is for everyone aged 59 to 69.
  • Over 98% of people told us in an online survey that the BowelScreen home test was easy to use.
  • 9 out of 10 people who do one bowel screening test go on to do the test again when invited.
  • 1800 45 45 55 – the freephone number to register for BowelScreen. You can also register online at

Understanding Diabetic RetinaScreen

We offer free eye screening to people with diabetes. It’s for everyone over the age of 12 with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes.

We screen for an eye disease called retinopathy, looking for changes to the back of your eyes – the retina - that could be a sign of this disease. If diabetic retinopathy is caught early, treatment can reduce or prevent damage to your eyesight.

Diabetic RetinaScreen is free and if treatment is needed, this is also free.

We answer your questions about why it’s important to go for regular eye screening if you have diabetes, how to register with us, what happens at your appointment, and where to get more information:

Gordon’s story

Gordon Hynes was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2005, aged 26, and for many years he says he didn’t take much notice. Gordon went for his first eye screening with Diabetic RetinaScreen in 2017 and tells us how he finds the service reassuring and encourages everyone with diabetes to go for regular eye screening:

Diabetic RetinaScreen: Know your numbers

  • Diabetic RetinaScreen is for people with diabetes aged 12 and over.
  • It’s for people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
  • We have 140 screening locations across the country.
  • Your screening appointment will take about 30 minutes.

Men’s Health Week webinar

Dr Alan Smith, Specialist in Public Health Medicine with the National Screening Service, will take part in a webinar with former Irish rugby international Rob Kearney, to mark Men’s Health Week. The webinar takes place on Monday 10 June at 11.30am. Register for the webinar.

Keep up to date with news about our screening programmes at and follow us on X @NSShse, and LinkedIn.