Bowel cancer is one of the most preventable forms of cancer, yet Australia still has one of the highest rates of it in the world, with one in twelve Australians developing bowel cancer every week. Every. Single. Week.
Bowel cancer also has one of the highest rates in cancer in the world, claiming so many lives every day. While no type of cancer is one hundred per cent preventable, this particular disease is seen as one of the most preventable because if caught early enough, it has a very high success rate of being stopped.
Bowel screening is an effective way of testing for bowel changes and bowel cancer in healthy people who don’t show classic symptoms of the disease. The bowel screening test also shows signs of polyps in the bowel, which can then be removed before cancer forms. And if having your poo tested once in a while could save your life, then it is worth doing.
A bowel screening test is encouraged in those over 50 as the cancer is more prevalent with an increase of age. Early detection is key and any changes can then be monitored. Bowel screening can be carried out in the comfort of your own home and your samples sent away for testing. As one of the most private and comfortable tests you can take, it should be widely encouraged in the community.
The symptoms of bowel cancer include blood or mucus in the faeces, unexpected changes in bathroom habits, general discomfort in the abdomen and tiredness. If experiencing these symptoms, it doesn’t mean that you have cancer, but it is something to discuss with your doctor. The causes of bowel cancer are strongly linked to genetics and a family history of the disease, but there is also reason to believe that a diet high in processed meats and alcohol can be behind the cause.
Many people who should have a bowel screening don’t undertake the test. Whether that is due to awareness or discomfort on the issue in unclear, so remind those close to you that prevention is preferred to cure. Encourage your loved ones to take the bowel screening test because something as simple as doing a poo could save your life.
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