31 August 2012
Cancer Council SA is calling on sons and daughters to think past socks and jocks this Sunday and give a gift that promotes regular screening for bowel cancer – a disease that currently impacts 1 in 17 men by the age of 75.
Buying a bowel cancer screening kit for your Dad this Father’s Day may not be quite what he is expecting but it may spur him on to complete a test that could save his life.
“Most sons and daughters of parents over the age of 50 may underestimate the important role they can play in encouraging their parents to look after their health and keep up with regular screening tests and check-ups,” says Professor Brenda Wilson, Chief Executive Cancer Council SA.
“If caught early, bowel cancer has an extremely high cure rate, up to 90%. Despite this we still see more than 230 South Australian men die from it every year, usually because the cancer is diagnosed after the cancer has spread past the bowel wall.
“Whilst the Federal Government’s National Bowel Cancer Screening Program does currently provide free kits to Australians turning 50, 55 and 65 years, for optimum health outcomes we recommend people screen every two years.”
56 year old Joseph Mazzone received a kit from his daughter Anna, as part of a Father’s Day gift last year and says he was surprised how easy it was to complete.
“It certainly wasn’t something I was expecting to see when I unwrapped my present but I really appreciated the sentiment behind it.
“Being the age I am, I received a bowel cancer screening test from the government when I turned 55, but by giving me another test from the Cancer Council, my daughter made me realise how important it is to take care of my health and motivated me to complete the test I was already sent.
“I will now use the one she gave me to proactively rescreen for bowel cancer when I turn 57 next year.
“It has given me some assurance that I am doing what I can to detect it early. I also make sure I eat a healthy diet, high in fruits and vegetables, to help prevent it.”
To help people proactively screen for bowel cancer every two years that fall outside of the current National Bowel Cancer Screening Program age groups (50, 55 and 65 years) Cancer Council SA sells FOBT kits at an affordable price. Call 13 11 20. They are also available from your local pharmacy or from your local GP.
“The tests are easy to use and can be done in the privacy of your own home. Visit Cancer Council SA’s YouTube channel ‘cancercouncilsa’ to watch our video called ‘John in the John’ to see just how simple it is!” says Professor Wilson.
“Buying your Dad a bowel screening kit this Father’s Day is a great way of showing you care about him and his health.”