MPs push bowel cancer awareness ahead of Bowel Cancer Month
BOWEL cancer is the second biggest cancer killer of Australians, despite it being one of the very few preventable cancers.
Nationals MPs Barnaby Joyce, Keith Pitt and David Gillespie have scheduled long-overdue bowel screening tests for themselves and are encouraging Australians to do the same.
Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce said Bowel Cancer Awareness Month was as good a time as any to remind people to see their pharmacist or GP about having a bowel cancer screening test done.
"About 90 per cent of bowel cancer cases can be treated successfully if found early," Mr Joyce said.
"unfortunately fewer than 40 per cent are detected early."
Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt said it was during an ad-break in last month's State of Origin game that the three MPs realised they were due for a check-up.
"It's something men don't typically like to talk about, let alone get tested for," Mr Pitt said.
"Most people think it only impacts men over the age of 50, but the fact is bowel cancer affects men and women, young and old."
Bowel Cancer Australia CEO Julien Wiggins thanked the MPs for their advocacy, and welcomed the Government's listing of important bowel cancer treatments on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
"Erbitux and Avastin are now available as first-line and second-line treatment options for patients with metastatic bowel cancer," Mr Wiggins said.
"The availability of these treatments, together with greater access to screening, will help improve bowel cancer survival rates which are currently at 66 per cent while other common cancers are at around 90 per cent.
Men over the age of 50 are recommend to be tested every 1-2 years. Screening can be accessed via the Federal Government's free program if you are 50, 55, 50, 65, 70 & 74. Everyone else needs to see their GP or pharmacist for a test."
You can support the important work of Bowel Cancer Australia on Red Apple Day (Wednesday June 17, 2015) by purchasing a Bowel Cancer Awareness Ribbon or participating in a fundraising event near you. For more information go to www.redappleday.org. June is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month.