Bowel Cancer Testing
Around 80 Australians die from bowel cancer every week! Bowel cancer can be treated successfully if detected in its early stages.
Fewer than 40 per cent of bowel cancers are detected early. Bowel screening through Colonoscopy offers the best chance of early detection and treatment.
Bowel cancer screening must become a priority for everyone. It is everyone responsibility to raise awareness and encourage bowel cancer testing.
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:
Step 1. Call us on 9781 5959 to make an appointment
Step 2. Print Referral Form and take it to your Doctor
Step 3. Click here to Read the Appointments Page
Bowel Cancer Test
Bowel screening is highly important – especially to men and women aged 50 and older. In many cases, doctors recommend undergoing a colonoscopy as part of bowel cancer testing.
During a colonoscopy if your gastroenterologist detects abnormal cell growths called ‘polyps’, he/she will remove them. Bowel polyps are often benign, however they can eventually become malignant.
Bowel cancer is hereditary and can also develop as a result of many lifestyle factors. Regular testing for bowel cancer is vital to your overall health – not just for aging adults, but for people of all ages.
Ask your physician for more details about bowel cancer screening or check with the experts at Direct Endoscopy to find out how to get a referral for a colonoscopy.
Who Is At Risk?
Bowel cancer testing is increasingly important for those who meet this criteria:
- 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.
Colonoscopy to test for bowel cancer
Colonoscopy is the best way of detecting and the only means of removing polyps from the bowel. If polyps are left untreated, a significant percentage of these will eventually develop into bowel cancer.
Polyps may not have symptoms and usually are discovered by inspection at the time of colonoscopy, so early identification of polyps is the best method of bowel cancer screening.
The national bowel cancer screening program
Take advantage of the free National Bowel Cancer Screening Program, which is currently in place for screening all Australian citizens aged 50, 55 and 65 without symptoms with FOBT (faecal occult blood test).
Getting yourself checked and tested is the best way to prevent or diagnose bowel cancer. Bowel screening tests are available at Direct Endoscopy. You can schedule a consultation or book a colonoscopy by calling at 03 9781 5959.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is bowel cancer common in 40-year-olds in Australia?
Being young doesn’t protect you from bowel cancer. If you have symptoms (a change in bowel habits e.g.) and/or family history, make an appointment as soon as you can to see your doctor to talk about it and have screening tests under the bowel cancer screening program. Early detection is vital.
Is colon cancer rare in the 30s in Australia?
The risk of colon cancer is doubled in anyone born from 1990 onwards and the risk of rectal cancer is quadrupled compared with those born in 1950. Colorectal cancer screening is advised to detect early-stage bowel cancer which can be successfully treated especially if detected early. Screening programs and the home test kit can find early signs and help reduce incidence numbers.
Should I get a colonoscopy at age 40?
If you have an average risk of colorectal cancer or prior screening history, you ought to start screenings at 50 years and repeat these every 10 years. If you have a family history or a family member who has had bowel cancers, you should start colonoscopies at age 40 or 10 years before the youngest diagnosed age (whichever comes first) and should repeat every five years. Always seek advice from your GP.
How quickly can bowel cancer develop?
Bowel cancer generally takes many years to develop and normally starts in the colon or rectum lining. The faecal occult blood test or an immunochemical faecal occult blood test via the screening can detect tiny amounts of blood that’s undetectable with the naked eye but that leak from the cancers long before symptoms are evident. This blood passes into the large intestine and faeces and can be detected using the test kits.
What is the life expectancy of people with bowel cancer in Australians?
The five-year relative survival rate for those with stage one bowel cancer is 98.6 per cent. This means that almost 99 out of every 100 people at this stage will be alive five years after their diagnosis.
Would bowel cancer show up in a blood test?
No blood test can diagnose this disease. The only way is via a colonoscopy. However, your GP may order kidney and liver function tests sent to a pathology laboratory to check your overall health. There is also a blood test for a chemical sometimes produced by colon cancers.
The bottom line here is that although many symptoms such as inflammatory bowel disease, and ulcerative colitis are common in other conditions. If you have a personal history and you’re worried, never accept an explanation that says you are too young to have cancer. You may have familial adenomatous polyposis (Lynch syndrome) so ask your doctor for a referral for another test or further investigation. If you receive a positive result and it’s found early, it can be treated.
Bowel cancer can metastasis into breast cancer, lung cancer or another common cancer and if you have a strong family history, a first degree relative or one second degree relative, get a test and ask for a colonoscopy even if you are younger, or an earlier age than the screening program allows. Cancer Council Australia has set guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of colorectal cancer.
MEET OUR SPECIALISTS
- When to get a colonoscopy, why you need one and how it all works - November 22, 2021
- Why Your Doctor Wants You to Get a Colonoscopy - October 12, 2021
- Why Australia’s Bowel Cancer Screening Age Should Be Lowered to 40 - July 23, 2021