June is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, an initiative observed across Australia aimed to reduce the impact of bowel cancer in our communities and help recognise the importance of its early detection. According to the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Australia has one of the highest rates of Bowel Cancer, affecting both men and women and killing over 100 people every week. So we urge our community to proactively seek help from doctors and don’t become a statistic.
This June, we celebrate to enhance awareness and let everyone know that Bowel Cancer is still one of the most treatable forms of the disease. Bowel cancer affects your bowel with abnormal cell growth called Polyps. Often non-cancerous, they grow in the inner lining of your bowel causing noticeable bleeding in some cases. If these polyps are not removed timely, it can become cancerous and spread to nearby tissues.
One of the best diagnostics of this type of cancer is undergoing Bowel Cancer screenings regularly. We encourage everyone to consider screenings and reduce the risk of potential cancer, especially if you have concerns about a change in your bowel habits.
How is Bowel Cancer detected?
The primary aim of a bowel cancer diagnosis is how early it can be detected. According to Australian medical standards, anyone between the age of 50 to 74 should undergo a screening test.
- Most often, a faecal immunochemical test (iFOBT) every two years is recommended. However, with the rising occurrence of bowel cancer in younger and middle-aged groups, screening is beneficial even if you don’t fall in the risk group.
- Your GPs can perform these screenings in the medical centres and advice on further examinations according to your results. If a small amount of blood is found, further investigations and consultations are always advised by GPs.
Although bowel cancer screening can be done at your home, GPs are still the best to consult. They have a thorough understanding of the types of tests available and also its risks associated.
What are the benefits of bowel cancer screenings?
- If your test result is positive, GPs can prepare diagnostic plans including further tests, usually a colonoscopy.
- Early detection can help GPs to discuss your case with specialists. They can discuss and provide referrals for further care services.
- Screening also reduces the risks of being affected by cancer, and you can actively take part in your own overall well-being to not suffer from bowel cancer in the future.
- Early detection also helps in taking a crucial decision on surgeries, which specialists to visit, explore more diagnostic services and a host of other cancer-specific decisions becomes easier to take with early detection.
- Successful recovery is almost certain if bowel cancer can be detected earlier.
So, if you are concerned with your bowel health and think you have a change in your bowel habits, it is best to visit a doctor. At our medical centre, our doctors have been successfully conducting screenings for years and have developed effective GP management plans for bowel cancer detection. If you would like to consult with our doctors, book an online appointment or contact us to speak to our friendly staff today.