Bowel Cancer & Screening
Why is bowel cancer important?
Bowel cancer (or colon or colorectal cancer) is the second most common cause of cancer death in Australia, behind lung cancer. It kills more people than either prostate or breast cancer and Australia has one of the highest rates of bowel cancer in the world.
Many people have no symptoms while they develop bowel cancer.
Most patients with bowel cancer are over 50 years old when diagnosed but some people are quite young, especially patients with a strong family history of the disease.
The good news is that if detected early, bowel cancer can be successfully treated in more than 90% of cases.
Most bowel cancer begins as a benign polyp which is likely to cause no symptoms. These polyps can grow and over many years only a few may eventually turn into cancer. Polyps however can be removed from the colon before cancer develops. This prevents cancer even developing.