Ro­tary Bow­elscan pro­gram can save lives

Townsville Bulletin - - PRIME TIME - By Emma Chad­wick

A $ 7 in­vest­ment in your health could save your life, Townsville GP Dr Con Savis said this week.

The an­nual Ro­tary Bow­elscan pro­gram is on again from now un­til April 2, with kits avail­able from most phar­ma­cies.

Townsville GP and Rotarian Dr Con Savis said it was a com­mu­nity ser­vice which saved lives.

‘‘ The kits can de­tect blood in the bowel mo­tions of peo­ple over the age of 40 which could be due to bowel cancer,’’ Dr Savis said.

‘‘ In Aus­tralia, one per­son dies of bowel cancer ev­ery two hours and over 10,000 peo­ple are di­ag­nosed with bowel cancer ev­ery year.

‘‘ One in 18 men and one in 26 women will de­velop bowel cancer be­fore the age of 75; the older you are the greater the chance of de­vel­op­ing bowel cancer.’’

Aus t r a l i a h a s o n e o f t h e high­est rates of bowel cancer in the world.

Bow­elscan was de­vel­oped by Ro­tary in Aus­tralia in the early cidence of bowel cancer.

‘ ‘ Most bowel can­cers arise from polyps which are be­nign and if de­tected and re­moved early, the cancer is pre­vented with­out surgery.’’

In Aus­tralia Ro­tary sells about 120,000 kits and more than 200 bowel can­cers and sev­eral hun­dred polyps are de­tected annu- ally. The Ro­tary Club of Townsville has been con­duct­ing the p r o g r a m s i nce 1 9 9 3 i n t he Townsville area and all of the Ro­tary district which in­cludes the North­ern Ter­ri­tory as well as the north­ern half of Queens­land.

Dr Savis said dur­ing this time 33,000 kits had been sold and 20,000 tested.

Those tests have de­tected 40 bowel can­cers and more than 90 pre-can­cer­ous polyps.

Dr Savis said due to early de­tec­tion, the ma­jor­ity of these peo­ple had been saved from a bowel cancer death.

He said if the test showed pos­i­tive, the par­tic­i­pant was re­ferred to his or her doc­tor for fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Long-term sta­tis­ti­cal records show the early de­tec­tion of bowel cancer or polyps could usu­ally be treated suc­cess­fully.

He said the tests were avail­able from par­tic­i­pat­ing chemists in Townsville, Char­ters Tow­ers, Ing­ham, Ayr, Mount isa, Whit­sun­days, Mis­sion Beach and Tully.

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