Posted by Ali H, May 2015
Poo. We often joke about it, but testing your poo for bowel cancer every two years when you're 50 or older is vital. Your risk of bowel cancer – the second biggest cancer killer of men and women in Australia – increases with age but screening for the disease is actually clean, simple and can be done in the privacy of your own home.
If you are without symptoms or a family history, your first step in detecting bowel cancer is using the faecal occult blood test (FOBT). An FOBT is a simple test that looks for the early signs of bowel cancer. It can be done in the privacy of your own home and involves taking a minuscule sample from two separate bowel motions using a test kit.
This year, the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program will send free tests to all Australians when they turn 50, 55, 60, 65, 70 and 74. By 2020, every Australian between 50 and 74 years of age will receive a free kit in the mail every two years.
Cancer Council recommends screening every two years, therefore to screen in between there are a few ways to obtain an FOBT, listed here.
Those with a strong family history of bowel cancer or any symptoms should see a doctor.
√ Receive the kit
√ Complete it
This short video explains all you need to know to complete this simple test:
√ Return it