June is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, an opportunity to shine a light on why it’s so important to be proactive about your bowel health.
Did you know that Australia has one of the highest rates of bowel cancer in the world?
According to Cancer Australia, 103 Australians die from bowel cancer every week.
Fortunately, with early detection, bowel cancer is one of the most treatable types of cancer.
At Enterix Australia, we are passionate about providing an easy and convenient bowel screening test. Our ColoVantage® Home test detects traces of blood in your sample, which may indicate a range of colorectal conditions, including bowel cancer.
What is Bowel Cancer
Bowel cancer is a change in the cells in the wall of your bowel. The cells grow in an uncontrolled way and can affect any part of your colon or rectum.
Most often bowel cancer starts as growths called polyps. Around 15-40% of Australian adults have polyps. Most are non-cancerous but they could, if left undetected and untreated, eventually develop into cancer. While certain factors may increase your risk, bowel cancer can affect anyone.
Both men and women are at risk of developing bowel cancer. The risk is greater if you:
- have had an inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
- have a significant family history of bowel cancer or adenomatous polyps.
Other risk factors include:
- excess body fat and physical inactivity
- high intake of particular foods (such as red and processed meats)
- a low blood level of vitamin D
- type 2 diabetes.
The good news is, according to data sourced from Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2021, the 5-year survival rate of Bowel cancer is over 70% when detected early enough.
This is why ColoVantage® Home is available to all adults in Australia, with or without family history of bowel cancer or other risk factors. ColoVantage® Home makes it easy to test for blood in stool, an indication for several bowel conditions, so you can take control of your bowel health.
Signs and Symptoms
Bowel cancers are often slow growing, and you may not have any symptoms at the earliest stages of the disease. The benefit of ColoVantage® Home is that it may help you detect blood in your sample before you experience symptoms, allowing you to investigate the cause and seek treatment as early as you can.
If you are experiencing symptoms, please make an appointment with your doctor for investigation.
Some signs and symptoms of bowel disease may include:
- Bleeding from your rectum or blood in your poo.
- Changes to your bowel habits like looser motions, more frequent motions, or severe constipation.
- Unexplained fatigue or weakness.
- Abdominal swelling, pain or cramping.
- Unexplained weight loss.
It’s important to remember that many bowel conditions could cause these symptoms.
Take control of your bowel health today
Early identification of bowel cancer means a wider range of treatment options may be available to you. According to Cancer Australia, regular screening may reduce bowel cancer deaths by 15-25%.
The ColoVantage® Home test is a faecal immunochemical test that provides an easy and convenient option for screening bowel disease. The simple test involves collecting samples of toilet bowl water which are then stored on the test card and posted to our laboratory for processing. The test does not involve any faecal handling, does not need refrigeration, and does not require changes to your diet or medications.
The test looks for the presence of human blood in the sample. Blood may be present in several colorectal conditions including Crohn's disease, infection, polyps, diverticular disease, ulcerative colitis, and perhaps even bowel cancer.
If your test returns a positive result, follow up with your doctor. They may request that you undergo further medical testing to look for the source of the bleeding.
Find out how the ColoVantage® Home test works: https://www.colovantage.com.au/pages/how-does-colovantage%C2%AE-home-work
*All information is general and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always follow directions for use. Enterix cannot respond to questions about general medical information or questions regarding your personal medical condition.