Make your Christmas gift count

Monday 3 December, 2007

With Christmas fast approaching, The Cancer Council Victoria is appealing to Victorian residents to give a special gift. This year, The Cancer Council is urging supporters to dig deep to raise money for the Bowel Cancer Education Program.

Bowel Cancer kills 22 Victorians every week. Making a donation to the Cancer Council is one way to show your support for the many families affected by cancer over the Christmas period.

The Bowel Cancer Education Program aims to reduce the number of lives lost to bowel cancer by promoting prevention and screening. Nearly all bowel cancers can be cured if caught early enough, yet many people are not aware that a simple test can pick up early signs of bowel cancer, even when no symptoms are present. Donations to the Christmas appeal will help raise awareness of bowel cancer and the importance of early detection.

"We've had a great response to the Bowel Cancer Education Program with many people ordering discounted screening tests through the Cancer Council since we launched the initiative this year, but we still need more funds to ensure that all Victorians over 50 are getting the message that they need to screen for bowel cancer", Manager of Cancer Education Programs, Alison Peipers.

The test used to detect traces of blood in the bowel motion is the Faecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT). Completing an FOBT every two years is recommended for everyone over 50, as this is when the risk of bowel cancer increases significantly. Because an FOBT can identify patients who may have bowel cancer even before symptoms are visible, patients are able to get early treatment, and have a much better chance of survival.

Call 1300 65 65 85 to donate to the 2007 Christmas appeal. If you're over 50, living in Victoria and would like to order an FOBT, visit www.cancervic.org.au/fobt or call the Cancer Council Helpline on 13 11 20.