While these numbers are high, the good news is that, if caught early, 90% of bowel cancer cases can be successfully treated.
Cancer Council Victoria supported the delivery of a national bowel screening communications campaign, a partnership between the Australian Government Department of Health and Cancer Council Australia.
The campaign aimed to increase participation in bowel screening among people aged 50 to 74 and break down the barriers that some people may have about doing the free simple home screening test.
The campaign included real experiences of bowel cancer including Erik, one of the lucky ones, who, after receiving a bowel screening kit in the mail, took the test and was surprised by the result.
“The test results came back positive, so my GP immediately sent me for a colonoscopy,” Erik said. “The diagnosis left me stunned. I had recently turned 50, and I felt like I was too young to worry about bowel cancer.
“If I hadn’t done the test and the tumour not been detected, I probably would have found out once I had symptoms which could have been too late. I would recommend doing the test to give you peace of mind. Plus, it might save your life – it saved mine,” Erik said.
For more information visit: www.cancervic.org.au/bowel