Dr Matthew Hall

Bowel cancer screening

Bowel cancer is the second most common cancer in Australia, and Australia has one of the highest rates of bowel cancer in the world. Often symptoms are at a later stage and therefore screening is recommended in at risk populations. Screening  has been shown to detect cancer and precancerous polyps at an earlier stage and treatment outcomes are improved. At risk patients are those over 50 years or with a family history of bowel cancer or polyps. Screening can be undertaken with a home stool sample, a “faecal occult blood test” or by colonoscopy. These two tests have varying accuracy, risks and inconvenience. Consideration or bowel cancer screening should be part of every yearly healthcheck.