Rotary Bowelscan program can save lives
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.