Good Health Blog

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Tag Archives: bowel cancer

A good reason to take control of your health

Gavin LeSueur - May 19, 2014

In the 2014 Australian Federal Budget the Government announced a further $95.9 million over four years to accelerate the implementation of biennial screening for all Australians aged 50 to 74 years between 2015 and 2020.

This will ensure that the programme is consistent with the National Health and Medical Research Council clinical guidelines, which recommend screening every two years from age 50.

This means that as well as the people currently being invited to screen (50, 55, 60 and 65 year olds) other age groups will be added as follows:

  • 2015: 70 and 74 years olds
  • 2016: 72 and 64 years
  • 2017: 68, 58 and 54 year olds

The four remaining cohorts 52, 56, 62 and 66 year olds, will be included from 2018 to 2020.It is estimated that when fully rolled out, approximately four million eligible Australians will be invited annually.

The take home message from this is that the recommendation of screening for bowel cancer will not be done for all of the recommended age groups for another six years – that is if you wait for the faecal occult blood test (FOBT)  kit to arrive in the mail.  You do not have to.  You can present to your Doctor and request the test now as recommended every two years after the ago of 50 or earlier should there be other risk factors.

You do not have to be passive and wait for the Government to catch up with the recommendations.  At when the research has been done the recommendations are online and current.  Once a year, check in, do your ‘what tests should I have this year’ screen and stay healthy!

Keeping your colon healthy

Gavin LeSueur - November 4, 2013

Colorectal cancer, also known as colon or bowel cancer, is the second most common type of internal cancer in Australians, with over 12 500 cases diagnosed every year

If detected early, up to 90 per cent of people diagnosed with colorectal cancer will survive beyond five years. However, if the cancer is undetected until a later stage it becomes harder to treat, so survival rates become much lower.

Bowel cancer screening is part of a preventative protocol to detect early changes. This screening  is recommended for everyone from the age of 50 years and earlier in those with a family history of bowel cancer or familial polyps.  If you have a potential bowel cancer history in the family talk to your Doctor today.

Researchers believe that eating a healthy diet may help prevent as many as one third of all cancers
including bowel cancer. Although there is no one diet that can prevent bowel cancer, changing your
diet could help reduce your risk of cancer in general. It will also improve your overall health.
You can help to reduce your risk of bowel cancer by:
• Eating a healthy diet, including plenty of vegetables and fruit and only small amounts of
animal fat
• Eating moderate amounts of lean red meat as part of a mixed diet including carbohydrates
(breads and cereals), vegetables and fruit, and dairy products
• Eating limited amounts of processed meats
• Maintaining a healthy body weight
• Exercising regularly
• Not smoking or drinking too much alcohol.
Following this advice doesn’t mean that you will never get bowel cancer, but it can reduce your risk
and has other health benefits too.

Building the database

Gavin LeSueur - July 5, 2009

this project started in 2008 with a concept to bring quality health advice direct to the public. After a year of reviewing preventative health recommendations and trying to design a format that is patient friendly and undertandable, is now ready to go onto the web. Many of the preventative health and screening protocols are designed in ‘doctor-speak’ and thus make little sense to patients. I am writing the explanations and getting my 16 year old daughter and local tradesman friends to read them before I post them. If they cannot understand what is needed then I re-work the explanation until it is useful.

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