Bowel cancer is the commonest cancer affecting Australian men and women. There are approximately 10,000 new cases each year with around 5,000 Australians dying from it every year. Thatís almost 100 lives each week or 1 Australian every 2 hours.
Yes! Bowel cancer is one of the most preventable, treatable and beatable cancers Ė particularly when caught early. More than 90% of people survive bowel cancer if itís detected and treated at an early stage. It is not clear how long this current program will continue.
Testing, via either a home test or colonoscopy, is the ONLY way to detect the early signs of bowel cancer Ė which often has no apparent symptoms. The aim of testing is to find polyps (an early sign of bowel cancer) or to find cancer early when it is easier to treat and cure. Early testing can save your life.
In accordance with Gastroenterological Society of Australia guidelines, Letís Beat Bowel Cancer recommends annual bowel screening for all Australian men and women aged 50 and over.
If youíre 50 and over and have a personal or family history of bowel cancer or polyps, have blood in your stool or other bowel symptoms, you should consult a medical practitioner as soon as possible.
Yes! For example, there are tests that allow you to test for the early signs of bowel cancer at home. This clinically proven test requires no diet or medication changes, and no faecal handling. Once completed, you mail the test in a special envelope for pathology testing and the results will be posted to you and your nominated GP within two weeks.
Click here to find out how.
As part of a national initiative, the Australian Government are sending out free bowel screening test kits to people as they turn 50 , 55 and 65 between January 2011 and December 2014.
The free kit provided by the Government should arrive in the mail around the date of your birthday. People who have received a free screening test kit from the Australian Government are encouraged to participate in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program. For more information regarding the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program please call 1800 118 868.
People who do not receive a free bowel screening test kit as part of the Australian Government National Bowel Cancer Screening Program may still undergo annual screening by purchasing a bowel screening test.
Please click here to find out how you can obtain a bowel screening test, or FOB Test.
*Letís Beat Bowel Cancer is an initiative of Cabrini Health. It is a not-for-profit, community awareness program dedicated top saving lives through improved bowel cancer research, education and prevention. Neither Letís Beat Bowel Cancer nor Cabrini Health, receive any benefit, financial or otherwise, for promoting any tests.