Every day we hear stories of developments in and new treatments for cancer and this especially applies to breast cancer and prostate cancer.
And yet bowel cancer is the second commonest cancer in Australia
(more common than breast and cervical cancer combined)
Unfortunately bowel cancer is also the second highest cause of cancer related mortality in our country. And it is second only to mortality from lung cancer, which is declining because the message to stop smoking is making huge inroads into that disease.
Indeed bowel cancer results in the deaths of 4000 Australians every year, more than three times the entire national road toll and we certainly think about that quite a lot.
Yet this figure for bowel cancer mortality could be massively reduced if we could raise the rate of early diagnosis. Early diagnosis can be achieved by early presentation to doctors when symptoms occur and by a much greater acceptance of screening for bowel cancer for all Australians over the age of 50.