Earlier this year I received the FOBT test from the government bowel screening program, which I used and returned within the same week I got it.
It came back positive and a subsequent colonoscopy found a polyp which contained cancer within .5 of a mm of the wall of the colon.
I underwent a successful bowel resection on the 30th of August, and am now recovering and learning to handle my ileostomy, and have every confidence it should be reversed later this year.
My concern is that having spoken to a lot of people who also received the test,
about 70% commented that 'I just haven't gotten around to doing it yet' and of those, most hadn't done more than open the envelope and then put it aside! One in particular not only had NOT done the test, but lost his brother to bowel cancer earlier this year.....
I don't want to sound like a preacher, believe me I'm not at all religious, but without this test my life WOULD have gone in a totally different direction, and not one I like to think about too much.
Please, speak to your family, friends, strangers even, the best opportunity of a healthy long life is being handed out free of charge.
We need to get it into peoples heads that it is simple, non-intrusive and free.
I wish my husband had been offered this test. He had asked a few times during yearly medical checkups if he should have a colonoscopy but was told to wait till he was 50.A year ago at 49 and with very few symptons (some stomach cramps he thought was a pulled muscle) he had a routine colonoscopy and they found he had Stage 4 Bowel cancer that had spread beyond the bowel wall with numerous tumours in his liver and fluid around his peritoneuim.Please,please pass on the message to have early screening (I would suggest 1st test at 40)as this disease is treatable if caught early enough.We have been through a year of chemotherapy that continues today and his future is uncertain and although we are very positive people and wont give up hope there is no cure (as yet) for this stage of cancer.
I'm sorry to hear of your husbands condition, I hope things start looking up for him soon.
I agree completely, the test should be done earlier, a good mate of mine died about 5 years ago from bowel cancer that hadn't been found anywhere near early enough, and obviously before FOBT test was made available, yet even so, I didn't give it any real thought until the test turned up in the post.
He was about 5 years older than me at the time.
My kids and siblings have all been told to get tested, in the case of the kids from 35 on, as I was diagnosed positive, and immediately in the case of my 3 sisters. That's a few years off for the kids yet, but I'm glad to say my sisters all tested negative.
I realize this is just one among a range of cancers in our society, but it's probably the one that we're being given the best chance of early detection.
If we all get out there and make people aware of the importance of actually doing the test, a lot more will survive.
Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.