Every day 12 Australians die of bowel cancer. It is the second most prolific cancer in Australia and kills as many women each year as breast cancer. The tragedy of the disease is that it is PREVENTABLE IF DETECTED EARLY.
The screening kit is called a Faecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) and it works by examining a small sample of your faeces for any traces of blood. This is because bowel cancer develops from polyps or nodules that can start to grow in your bowel. These polyps then bleed and the blood is then contained in your faeces.
The tests will find blood if it is there. Blood can be found in your faeces for reasons other than bowel cancer so if your test is positive for blood your doctor will refer you to a Gastroenterologist for a procedure called a colonoscopy.
The specialist will use a colonoscope to examine your bowel and look for polyps. If there are any polyps present, the gastroenterologist will remove them during the colonoscopy. You should know that a colonoscopy is a very safe procedure in the hands of a skilled doctor.