We may prefer not to think about it, but the statistics show it really is imperative that we all participate in regular bowel cancer screening processes when we are past the age of 50.
Like bowel movements and bowel cancer, the stats are hard to face. Bowel cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, is one of the most common cancers in Australia and is the fourth leading cause of death amongst men and women aged 65-74.
When you consider that 99 per cent of bowel cancer cases could be successfully treated if caught early, these are very sad and unnecessary losses of life. This is why screening is extremely important. However logic doesn’t always prevail, with some of us more inclined to leave the government’s free Bowel Cancer Screening Program home test kit unopened as the procedure can be a little unappealing.
The good news is there may be better options on the horizon thanks to Sangui Bio, an Australian life sciences company, who are undertaking medical research into screening methods for colorectal polyps and bowel cancer that doesn’t include the uncomfortable poking and prodding business – and there’s a way you can help make a difference and help fight against bowel cancer.
Colorectal cancer is also known as bowel cancer. It is important to see the GP promptly if any of the following bowel symptoms are experienced:
As a preventative measure, we should be tested for bowel cancer every two years from the age of 50.
Currently, the screening and testing procedure for colorectal cancer in people over 50 involves the use of a home testing kit to extract a stool sample. That stool sample is then sent off for testing in the reply paid envelope supplied with the kit.
Colonoscopies are undertaken if the screening process has a positive result, if any of the above bowel symptoms are experienced, or if there are other concerns such as a history of polyps or a family history of bowel cancer.
However, many people find taking a stool sample unpleasant and colonoscopies invasive, so they prefer to avoid bowel cancer screening tests altogether.
Founded in 2015, Sangui Bio are a Sydney-based life sciences company revolutionising the way blood is analysed and used in medicine. In this case they are researching a method of detecting polyps and bowel cancer via a simple, quick and easy blood prick test that can be done at home.
The study aims to investigate if there are any biological markers (biomarkers) in blood or stool that can be used to determine if you have a colorectal polyp.
Sangui Bio hope to champion finger prick tests as more convenient and comfortable ways to be screened regularly for colorectal cancer, potentially increasing the number of Australians benefitting from early bowel cancer detection.
You could play a pivotal role in enhancing how colorectal polyps are tracked, monitored, and treated, with the aim of halting their progression into colorectal cancer.
You could be eligible to participate in helping researchers investigate ways to improve the prevention of bowel cancer if you’re aged between 55-80 years old and have booked in for a colonoscopy due to: