A few weeks ago I wrote an article on colorectal cancer and its link to diet, you can see the article on the Ausmed website here. Anyway without repeating myself too much, 4,000 people die from colorectal cancer in Australia every year, it's the second leading cancer killer following lung cancer. But with early detection (which is readily available) 90% of the 12,500 people diagnosed annually in Australia can be cured!
So to get to the point. Bowel Cancer Australia sends out free screening kits to Aussie's over 50 years old. But of all these FREE screening kits being sent out, only about 36% are being returned, even though bowel cancer kills 4,000 Australians every year. And of those returned, just over 7% were positive which doesn't necessarily mean the individual has bowel cancer, but indicates a need for further investigations. So the screening kit is working!
So why aren't tests getting returned? I asked my partner Will and he said that maybe people don't want to go poking around in their poo. Which I can't just say 'fair enough' and leave it at that. As a nurse, I can talk about bowel movements anytime of day, I can 'poke around' in patients poo and then 5 minutes later be enjoying a muffin. But Will had a point, are people too freaked out about seeing their own faeces close up and personal to be able to do these screening tests, even with the health benefits?? Are people not doing these tests which could potentially save their lives because they think it's gross??
83% of people who have done the at home screening test said they would do it again. So hopefully that means that more and more people will be accessing this screening tool in the future. I guess as well, with so many people being diagnosed and dying with bowel cancer annual, more and more people will be affected by this killer and hopefully this will get people talking about their bowels and DOING the FREE bowel screening test.
You can check out the Bowel Cancer Australia article here which goes though all the stats and if you want to know more about how they do the screening or order a bowel cancer screening tool, check out the link here.
So people, lets stop a preventable disease thats killing a sh*t load of Aussies every year by being more open with our bowels (I'm sorry about the puns, I couldn't help myself lol).