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It's FOBruary: get your bowel cancer screening home test kit!

Monday 13 February, 2012 by Susanne and Melissa

According to Cabrini Health, which just happens to run the lovely Cabrini Hospital in Malvern, it is the magical month of FOBruary. That is, it's the month to do your Faecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) - or as many of us here at Cancer Council Victoria call it, a bowel cancer screening test.

FOBTs are recommended to all Victorian men and women aged 50 and older, every two years, as the majority of people diagnosed with bowel cancer are in this age group.

So, we're happy to plug Cabrini's "Let's Beat Bowel Cancer" initiative which encourages people to do an FOBT this month.

The campaign, with the tagline Dip. Drop. Done. is encouraging Victorians to do this simple, at-home test during February to check for the early signs of bowel cancer - which aren't always visible.

FOBTs are designed to detect bleeding from polyps in the bowel which either are, or can become, cancerous and if left untreated can mean radical surgery (or worse) in the future for many men and women.

As we always say here at CYCR - bowel cancer screening tests are so important because bowel cancer is the second biggest cancer killer in Australia.

In Victoria, the latest Cancer Council statistics show that in 2010, more than 3600 people were diagnosed and 1330 people died from bowel cancer.

When you consider 90% of bowel cancers are curable if detected at the earliest stage then it's really a no-brainer.

You can see how easy the test is to complete - by watching ‘‘John in the john' here.

And if I've convinced you to join the FOBruary celebrations, and you'd like to get an FOBT, Cancer Council Victoria sells the kits for $30 or $22 for pension and health card holders.

You can order online or by calling 13 11 20.

So, have you done your FOBT or do you have a loved one who needs a little encouragement to do theirs? Let us know below.

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