Crucial test

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I am very grateful (and I am sure many others are too) that Ian Campbell highlighted the issue of bowel cancer kits (Letters, 21 January).

However, it is disappointing that he felt it necessary to dwell on the negative aspects of this vital and life-saving service.

Although I understand that the process required to retrieve the required samples is less than dignified, if Mr Campbell takes the time to read the instructions that come with the kit, he will see that it is a very simple and achievable procedure.

His concerns about the posting and packaging of the samples are covered by the protection and labelling on the returns packaging.

I, for one, am very grateful that we have this life-saving service and am more than happy to undertake the quick and easy sampling process required.

I would urge all those who receive it to use it. It’s a life-saver.

Bob Bertram

Main Street

Pathhead, Midlothian

I wonder what Mr Campbell would suggest as a better method for detecting bowel cancer.

I have just returned to the NHS after eight years in France, where anyone who has a relative with bowel cancer is offered a colonoscopy under general anaesthetic every five years.

The system, but not the procedure, is less invasive because the “national” health system operates with the benefit of an individual’s top-up insurance. These offers tend to lead to high rate of early detection.

However, it all starts from the derriere with the same kit au debut.

Perhaps some medical person could suggest if the initial screening could be done in a different way.

Shirley Seaton

Eskmill Villas

Musselburgh