When it comes to bowel cancer, don’t chance it 6



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When Ainslie Talbot received a bowel-testing kit, he didn’t think to use it right away. After all, the 69-year-old was fit, healthy and had no family history of the disease.

These days though, he credits the free test with saving his life. When Ainslie handed in his fecal occult blood test (FOBT) examined, he was diagnosed with advanced bowel cancer.

“I just got it in time – before it developed to stage four when my survival chances would have been far less”, Ainslie told media outlets in New Zealand. “It was only that I knew about FOBTs… that I had a test”.

In Australia, nearly 1.5 million people receive bowel cancer test kits for free under a clever government scheme. However, only 36% of people send their results back for analysis. It’s a trend that could put lives in danger.

“Bowel cancer can develop without any early warning signs”, warns Bowel Cancer Australia. “The cancer can grow on the inside wall of the bowel for several years before spreading to other parts of the body”.

“Bowel cancer screening involves a test for bowel cancer in people who do not have any obvious symptoms of the disease… Screening using a faecal immunochemical test is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk”.

The test is simple enough, too. You just need to place small samples of used toilet paper on the card provided and send them to a laboratory for further analysis.

So today, the message from Starts at 60 is clear: When it comes to bowel cancer, don’t chance it. Your life might just depend on an early test, and proactive treatment!

Have you used the bowel cancer screening kit? Are you anxious about taking the test yourself? Is somebody you know impacted by cancer?

Did you know you should be screening for bowel cancer every two years if you’re over 50, even if you haven’t received an…

Posted by Cancer Council Victoria on Thursday, March 19, 2015

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. no sure whether you are taking orders for kit from New Zealand, but have completed form for payment and sent.

    2 REPLY
    • Kit to to test for bowell cancer has been available in chemists for some years in New Zealand.You can have bbowell cancer for 10years before you experience any symptoms I was told the eert told me when I was diagnosed..Thankfully I am ok at the moment.

  2. I receive my kit from the Government every 2 years & send do the test. Great idea.

  3. I too, know someone who received one of these kits. Did the test & sent it in. They then received a letter saying it showed some abnormalities. On having it checked out further, learnt they had bowl cancer (very early stages) had part of their Colan removed & was lucky to know that it hadn’t spread. Had no previous signs, looked & felt fit & healthy. Got a big shock but would have been a lot worse if it hadn’t been discovered. So if you receive one of these kits, do the test, you could save your life.

  4. I am on the 2 year Government scheme which is very good. I have noticed though, our chemist has a kit available for about a month once a year. I believe it is a scheme sponsored by one of the local service clubs. Worth investigating if you are not having regular checks.

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