Bowel cancer is the most common internal cancer, with about 15,000 new cases each year. Each week approximately 80 Australians die from bowel cancer, making it the second most common cause of cancer related death in Australia.
Bowel cancer is the term given to tumours of the colon or rectum, often referred to as bowel, colon or colorectal cancer.
Bowel cancer usually starts as a bowel polyp which is a small growth on the lining of the bowel wall. They are common, especially as we age and have the potential to develop into bowel cancer.
Less than 40 per cent of colorectal cancer is detected early because it often develops with without any signs or symptoms. Colonoscopy is the only way to accurately identify and safely remove bowel polyps. It is the best chance of detecting bowel cancer early.
Are You At Risk?
Once you have read the important information below and would like to be screened for bowel cancer, you will need to follow this procedure:
Who is at Risk?
The risk of developing bowel cancer is greater for people who:
- Are aged 50 years and over (risk increases with age)
- Have a significant family history of bowel cancer or polyps
- Have had an inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
- Have previously had special types of polyps, called adenomas, in the bowel.
Get a colonoscopy for bowel cancer prevention and diagnosis
Approximately half of all Australians are likely to develop a bowel polyp during their lifetime, but the majority of these remain undetected.
Although polyps are very common, they rarely produce symptoms and usually are discovered by inspection at the time of colonoscopy.
If polyps are left untreated, most polyps will eventually develop into bowel cancer. Polyps can be identified and safely removed during a colonoscopy.
The National Bowel Cancer Screening Program
If you are an Australian citizens aged 50, 55 and 65 you should take advantage of the FOBT (faecal occult blood test) offered under the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program.
Bowel Cancer is the second biggest cancer killer in Victoria. It is so important to get a bowel cancer screen. Due to the nature of colonic cancer and anatomy, bowel cancer can be a difficult to diagnose and presents late. Colonoscopy is the most accurate procedure to locate, diagnose, or rule out bowel cancer.
Contact Direct Endoscopy if you have questions about bowel cancer or to book a colonoscopy to diagnose or prevent bowel cancer.