A simple test that could save a life

Bowel cancer prevention charity The Jodi Lee Foundation recently launched a campaign to encourage Australians to screen regularly to prevent up to 4,000 lives lost to bowel cancer each year.

As part of the campaign an awareness ad was filmed Sydney’s CBD. The ad featured a giant installation in which the words BOWEL CANCER were constructed out of 5,000 mock screening tests, which were gradually all taken by passers-by. The message: the more tests that are taken, the less we will see of bowel cancer.

Founder and CEO of The Jodi Lee Foundation, Nick Lee, said ‘Australia has one of the highest rates of bowel cancer in the world. An estimated 17,000 people will be diagnosed this year alone and by 2020 this number is expected to increase to almost 20,000. This figure is very concerning, especially considering bowel cancer can be prevented with a simple at-home screening test. If bowel cancer does develop, it’s of utmost importance to catch it at an early stage, when up to 90 per cent of cases can be successfully treated. Many people don’t experience any symptoms of bowel cancer until it has become more advanced or has spread, which is why screening is so important. This simple test might just save your life.’

General Practitioner, Ginni Mansberg, hopes the campaign will put bowel screening on the health agenda of all Australians. Bowel cancer mainly affects people over 50, but around 1000 younger people are diagnosed with the disease each year.

If you train clients aged 50 and over, this campaign and accompanying TV ad could serve as a good way to broach a potentially delicate subject and start a conversation about the importance of getting tested for bowel cancer. The Federal Government offers free tests to people aged 50, 55, 60 and 65 through its National Bowel Cancer Screening Program. For younger people, bowel screening tests are available from pharmacies, GPs and online for $39.95.

Source: jodileefoundation.org.au