Bowel Cancer Awareness Month is an annual initiative held by Bowel Cancer Australia, running throughout June. The highlight is Red Apple Day (Wednesday, 20th June 2018), when Australians are encouraged to support the vital work of Bowel Cancer Australia through the purchase of a Bowel Cancer Awareness Ribbon, Pin or merchandise and apple themed fundraising activities.
Bowel cancer claims over 11 lives in Australia each day, making it the second deadliest form of cancer in Australia to date. Each year, nearly 15,000 Australians are diagnosed with bowel cancer, with the majority of those being patients over 50 years of age. The number of those under 50 being diagnosed with bowel cancer is steadily increasing.
Bowel Cancer Screening Tests
9 out of 10 cases of bowel cancer can be successfully treated if found and detected early and 70% of all bowel cancer cases are survivable over a 5-year period. Without proper screening, bowel cancer may not display any warning signs or serious symptoms, so frequent screening is recommended for anyone over 50, or young people with a genetic link or family history of bowel cancer.
Cancer Council Australia recommend that at-risk individuals complete faecal occult blood test (FOBT) every two years. To date, FOBT is the most effective population screening tool for detecting early signs of bowel cancer. You may also ask about new bowel cancer detection kit: a major prevention initiative which will allow all Australians aged 50-74 with access to Medicare funded services to undergo a bowel screening test every 2 years. Check your eligibility for a free bowel screening test here.
The screening test can be completed within the privacy of your own home and sent to a laboratory by post. The results will then be sent to you and nominated doctor of your choice for further analysis and discussion. For further information about bowel cancer screening, talk to your local GP or contact Globe Medical.