If you are aged 50 years and over ‘doing nothing is not an option’ when it comes to bowel cancer risk.
Bowel cancer is the second most common type of newly diagnosed cancer in Australia, with the majority of people diagnosed aged 50 years and older. Australia has one of the highest rates of bowel cancer in the world. Around one in 23 Australians will develop bowel cancer during their lifetime.
But the good news is that bowel cancer is preventable, and if detected early can be successfully treated in 90% of cases.
Bowel cancer screening involves a test for bowel cancer in people who do not have any obvious symptoms of the disease.
Bowel cancer can develop without any early warning signs. The cancer can grow on the inside wall of the bowel for several years before spreading to other parts of the body.
Often very small amounts of blood, invisible to the naked eye, leak from these growth and pass into bowel movements before any symptoms are noticed.
A bowel cancer screening test called a Faecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) can detect these small amounts of blood in bowel movements.
The test looks for blood in your bowel movement, but not for bowel cancer itself.
Screening using a FOBT is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of dying from bowel cancer. The FOBT can detect blood from pre-cancerous polyps or from early stage bowel cancer. When identified early, 90% of bowel cancer cases can be successfully treated.
So being aware of bowel cancer, and the steps to prevent and detect it early, are paramount. For further information book an appointment with your doctor to discuss or go to Bowel Cancer Screening.