Bowel Cancer Screening
Doing a bowel screening text at home is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of dying from bowel cancer.
The home bowel screen test can detect small amounts of blood in your poo which you would not normally see. This can be caused by pre-cancerous polyps or from early stage bowel cancer.
The Australian medical guidelines recommend screening for all people from the age of 50-74 years of age every 2 years.
At RARMS our GPs can offer a Bowel Screening Test every 2 years to people aged 45-49 who request it after talking with the GP.
The test involves getting a bowel screening test kit and then collecting a little sample of your poo, placing it on a card or in a container, and sending it to a pathology laboratory for analysis.
This sounds really yucky, but it is a whole lot less yucky than getting bowel cancer!
The results of your test are then sent back to you and your GP.
Talk to your GP today about getting a bowel screening test.
How do I know if I might have bowel cancer?
The most common symptoms of bowel cancer cancer include:
A recent, persistent change in bowel habit such as looser, more diarrhoea-like poo, constipation, or going to the toilet more often, or trying to go - irregularity in someone whose bowel habits have previously been regular
A change in shape or appearance of your poo for example, narrower poos than usual or mucus in poo
Blood in your poo or rectal bleeding - bright red or very dark blood should never be ignored
Frequent gas pain, cramps, a feeling of fullness or bloating in the bowel or rectum
Unexplained anaemia - which is a low red blood count causing tiredness, weakness or weight loss
A feeling that the bowel has not emptied completely after going to the toilet
Pain or a lump in your anus or rectum
Abdominal pain or swelling
Not everyone experiences symptoms, particularly in the early stages of bowel cancer. The above symptoms may be suggestive of bowel cancer, but they can also be due to other medical conditions, some foods or medicines.
Don't delay in talking to your GP if you are experiencing any of the described symptoms for two weeks or more, because when diagnosed early almost 99 percent of cases can be successfully treated.
Blood in your poo or bleeding from your anus should never be ignored.
When identified early, almost 99% of bowel cancer cases can be successfully treated.
If you have reached the age of 50 years you should receive a bowel screening test from the Government in the mail. Do the test, wait for the results and then pop down to see your GP if you need.
If you have any of the symptoms listed above, make a time to see your GP as soon as possible.
If you are 45 years old and want to discuss getting a bowel screen test, make an appointment with your GP.