Your to-do list probably contains things that are urgent, others that are important and a few that you'd rather forget about but know you can’t!
Cleaning the bathroom.
Taking the bins out.
Yes, bowel screening is right up there. Few people relish the thought of checking their stool for early signs of colorectal disease! So why should you do it?
Why is bowel screening important?
Because bowel cancer is serious – and because bowel screening helps to detect it early when it’s more easily treated.
Lung cancer causes the most cancer deaths each year in Australia. But bowel cancer takes out second place. That’s serious.
Bowel cancer grows slowly, though. It begins as polyps growing in the bowel wall. Most are harmless but some slowly change into cancer over several years.
And you probably won’t have any idea that’s happening. You probably won’t have any symptoms that would make you see a doctor. You’ll be happily doing your thing, unaware that something serious is taking shape inside your body.
Bowel cancer screening clues you in. It detects traces of blood in your stool, which could indicate the presence of cancer or precancerous polyps.
The sooner you find out about that, the sooner you can act. More than 90% of bowel cancer cases can be successfully treated – if detected early. But fewer than 50% are detected early.
To sum it up then, bowel cancer screening is important because it could save your life.
Why do people put off bowel screening?
People put off bowel cancer screening for many reasons, including feeling:
- Anxious – what if you find out you have cancer?
- Fatalistic – believing that, when your time is up, so there’s no point taking a test
- Disgusted – the thought of handling your stool is not appealing!
It’s possible to know that bowel cancer screening is important and, at the same time, put off doing it for reasons like those. This is known as cognitive dissonance – holding contradictory beliefs or behaviours, like being an animal lover who eats meat.
Cognitive dissonance often creates feelings of discomfort. Two thoughts, beliefs or behaviours don’t fit well together so you feel guilty or unsettled.
There’s a quick way through this when it comes to bowel cancer screening – just do the test! It’s over in minutes. And with ColoVantage® Home, you don’t have to scoop the poop!
How does ColoVantage® Home help?
First released in 2000, ColoVantage® Home is a faecal immunochemical test (FIT) that has since been used to screen thousands of people across Australia and New Zealand for early signs of colorectal disease.
The test is easy and convenient to use – and, unlike other tests:
- Involves no faecal handling
- Requires no changes to diet or medications
- Does not have to be kept in the fridge alongside food.
With ColoVantage® Home, you simply brush the water in your toilet bowl after bowel motion and drop some of that water onto a test card, then seal it and send it to us.
So, don’t put off bowel screening. Say yes to a ColoVantage® Home test and you will have the peace of mind you hope for, or the alert you need to inform your next steps. Either way, say YES to know.
*All information is general and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always follow directions for use.