To evaluate the quality of life of patients following surgery for colorectal cancer, and to compare the quality of life between patients whose cancer was detected as a result of faecal occult blood screening with that of patients whose cancer presented symptomatically, an analysis was conducted within the context of the randomized controlled trial of colorectal cancer screening, University Hospital, Nottingham, UK. A total of 418 survivors of the trial's test and control groups and 33 randomly selected cancer patients completed quality of life questionnaires (Nottingham Health Profile and Health Measurement Questionnaire). The mode of entry to diagnosis and treatment (screening vs. non-screening) appeared to exert no major impact on post-intervention quality of life. The stage of cancer progression was not closely related to outcome life quality. A quality of life coefficient for surviving patients based on the Rosser classification was estimated to lie within the range 0.948-0.981. This figure accords well with the estimates of other studies of interventions in populations of similar age. Overall, there are no grounds for believing that faecal occult blood screening for colorectal cancer per se significantly influences patients' post-intervention quality of life.