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Active Retirees : Active Retirees Oct-Nov 2012
Active RetireesTM | 37 says. It also picks up premalignant polyps, which can be easily removed, preventing them from becoming cancerous. Generally, early stage bowel cancer is a malignant polyp or localised cancer and is removed via surgery with the possibility of adjunct chemotherapy if cancer is detected in the accompanying lymph nodes. If colorectal cancer is locally advanced, it’s treated with chemotherapy and radiotherapy before surgery with some more chemotherapy afterwards. Treatment can last for weeks, months and even years in some cases. “While there are standard protocols based on many years of research from clinical trials, treatment is finessed to the individual circumstances and needs of each patient. Treatment plans are discussed in multidisciplinary meetings where groups of cancer experts give their opinions,” explains Professor Segelov. One thing is for certain though: bowel cancer is most successfully treated when it’s detected early. •• Over 55? Request a bowel screening kit. t: 1800 118 868 rotary Bowelscan This year, Australian Rotary Health marks 30 years of helping in the early detection of bowel cancer. The Bowelscan program began in NSW in 1982 and is now a national program with more than 250 participating clubs. More than 150,000 bowel screening kits have been distributed, and an estimated 1000 people have been diagnosed thanks to these tests. To find out more or get involved, contact Australian Rotary Health. w: www.australianrotaryhealth.org.au e: email@example.com t: 02 8837 1900 60 per cent of people receiving free screening kits from the government aren’t doing it. Q i don’t have any symptoms of bowel cancer, so at what age should i start getting tested? a Early detection is indisputably logical. But how early? The best time to detect bowel cancer and offer the best chance of survival is when there are no symptoms. For many readers that means now. Screening for bowel cancer is now promoted internationally, including by the Australian Government. The Australian National Bowel Cancer Screening Program received more funding in the 2012 budget to progress its rollout to cover all Australians, from 50 to 74 years of age, every two years. But for now, it covers people turning 50, 55 years and 65 years, with 60 and 70 year olds also being invited in the 2013-2014 phase of the rollout. Risk factors for bowel cancer include a family history of bowel cancer in a first degree relative under the age of 55 years, or two or more first degree relatives with bowel cancer. When there is also endometrial or ovarian cancer, among a group of other cancers, with some occurring under 50 years of age, the risk may well be genetically driven. Your best port of call is your GP, or one of the Familial Cancer Clinics in Australia, also accessible by phoning the Cancer Council Helpline. t: 131 120 Professor Finlay Macrae is Head of Colorectal Medicine and Genetics at Royal Melbourne Hospital Do you have a health question for the Active Retirees Profs? e: firstname.lastname@example.org Ask the pRof
Active Retirees Aug-Sept 2012
Active Retirees Dec-Jan 2013