Bowel Cancer One of Australia’s Biggest Killers, but People Aren’t Taking Free Test
It is the second-most common cancer in Australia, but health authorities are frustrated more people aren’t participating in screening for bowel cancer.
The Cancer Council Victoria is calling on people to get themselves tested for the disease, which kills about 1,300 people in the state each year.
That is four times the road toll and is more common in those over the age of 50.
The disease develops from the inner lining of the bowel. It can also be referred to as colon or rectal cancer.
Only breast cancer kills more women, and prostate cancer more men, than bowel cancer.
Chief executive Todd Harper said many lives could be saved through early detection, if more people took the opportunity to be tested.
“Yet tragically only 39 per cent of Victorians currently participate in the national screening program.”
Mr Harper encouraged people to use the free test kit when it was sent out to homes across the country.
“People are able to do the test in the privacy of their own home, it’s free, it’s confidential,” he said.
If a person is not eligible for the free kit they can ask their GP for one, or they can purchase a test for about $30 from a chemist or health organisation.
The main treatment for bowel cancer is surgery but radiotherapy or chemotherapy can sometimes be used if the cancer is advanced.
He said it came as a surprise for many people that bowel cancer killed so many people each year.
“It doesn’t have the profile of some other illnesses and yet this cancer we know can be prevented through good diet, exercise and reducing alcohol consumption,” Mr Harper said.
“There is a great opportunity here to encourage more people to participate in screening, and ultimately to save many lives into the future.”
Please click here to view the original article.