Bowel cancer screening a must

Bowel cancer screening a mustBowel Cancer Awareness Month

Sometimes you have to see it to believe it, so West Moreton Health is putting on show the important reasons men and women should have their bowels checked.

A giant inflatable bowel is touring the region depicting the types of ailments that can affect the organ, all in a bid to promote Bowel Cancer Awareness Month.

So far it has been on display at health events at Ripley, Leichhardt, Brassall and Rosewood, and there are plans for it to also visit Goodna later this month.

Health Promotion Officer, Tanya Trost said because bowel cancer could develop well before any symptoms, illustrating the importance of a bowel check was potentially lifesaving.

“With bowel cancer you might look good on the outside, but the inside could be telling a different story,” Ms Trost said.

Ms Trost said the human bowel affected by cancer could be likened to an apple with a worm; if found early, the worm can be removed before can affect the entire apple.

“Both men and women are at risk of developing bowel cancer, but for those over 50 the risk increases.

“That’s why using a bowel cancer screening kit every two years from the age of 50 is recommended.

“June is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month so there could not be a more perfect time for people to take control of their health.

“Anyone can talk to their GP or pharmacist about a bowel cancer screening kit, however people aged 50-74 are eligible for a free screening kit from the Australian Government.

“Australia has one of the highest rates of bowel cancer in the world with around 17,000 people diagnosed with the disease each year.

“However, 90 per cent of bowel cancers which are diagnosed early are treated successfully, that’s why regular screening is so important.”

Ms Trost said maintaining a healthy body weight, eating well, being active, limiting alcohol and not smoking were also important steps to reducing the risk of cancer.