City of Canning residents below national average for bowel cancer screening

City of Canning residents below national average for bowel cancer screening

CITY of Canning residents have a 34.9 per cent bowel cancer screening participation rate, on par with the state average, but below the national average of 37 per cent.

The statistic, released as part of Bowel Cancer Australia’s awareness campaign Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late, stated 7.5 per 100,000 deaths in the Canning local government area were attributed to bowel cancer and the average age of death from bowel cancer was 73.5 years old.

Bowel cancer, also known as colorectal cancer or colon cancer, is cancer in any part of the colon or rectum and has casual links with diet, socioeconomic, access to hospitals.

In Australia, the lifetime risk of developing bowel cancer is one in 13, with the risk rising sharply and progressively from age 50.

Around 91 per cent of bowel cancer cases occur in people age 50 and over and 25 per cent of people experiencing symptoms waited more than three months before visiting a GP or hospital emergency department.

Bowel Cancer Australia spokesman and colorectal surgeon Graham Newstead said people experiencing differences in their bowel movements should contact their local GP.

“West Australians need to be bowel aware and if experiencing symptoms such as bleeding in the bowel movement, severe abdominal pain, or have a persistent change in bowel habit they need see their GP for further investigation as soon as possible,” he said.

Common symptoms of bowel cancer can include:

A recent, persistent change in bowel habit

A change in appearance of bowel movements

Blood in the stool or rectal bleeding

Frequent gas pain, cramps

A feeling that the bowel has not emptied completely

Unexplained anaemia

Rectal/anal pain or a lump in the rectum/anus

Abdominal pain or swelling

Not everyone experiences symptoms, particularly in the early stages of bowel cancer.

The above symptoms may be suggestive of bowel cancer, but they can also be due to other medical conditions, some foods or medicines