Moonee Valley Specialist Centre provides specialist care for patients with bowel conditions of varying severity. Bowel cancer remains one of the most significant and life-threatening diseases we treat at our Melbourne clinic. It’s important to understand the risks of developing lethal bowel cancer and what can be done to prevent it.
Cancer of the colon is highly treatable, with a 9 out of 10 survival rate if treated early. Our team’s primary goal is to detect bowel cancer in its early stages, and respond proactively for increased chances of a full recovery.
There are simple screening kits available that allow you to catch bowel cancer before it’s too late.
How does bowel cancer screening (FOBT or colonoscopy) work?
There are two methods for bowel cancer screening. A faecal occult blood test (FOBT) is a straightforward, painless procedure carried out in the privacy of your own home. The process involves collecting two small stool (faeces) samples over several days, using a special collection kit. You can buy this test kit over the counter from your local pharmacist. Your samples are then posted to the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program laboratory for analysis.
Alternatively, our specialists provide colonoscopy treatments at our Melbourne clinic.
Why do I need bowel cancer screening?
While 1 in 13 Australians will develop bowel cancer in their lifetime, almost 99% of bowel cancer cases can be treated successfully when detected early enough. Bowel cancer screenings help to save lives. FOBT screening is recommended every one to two years for people aged 50 or over.
If your test is negative, it’s important that you continue to re-test every one to two years to keep checking your status. If your test is positive, your doctor will schedule a colonoscopy to rule out the presence of bowel cancer or other causes of blood in your stool. If you choose to be screened by colonoscopy, then we recommend doing this every five years from the age of 50.
Changes to your diet and physical activity can also play a role in reducing the incidence of bowel cancer by up to 75%. Our specialists can provide dietary and fitness advice during your appointment.
What to bring to your bowel cancer screening appointment at our Essendon clinic
- Referral letter from your doctor (GP or Specialist) – this is essential for eligibility to claim your rebate from Medicare
- Blood test results and any scans that may be relevant to your appointment
- Any other additional information which may be relevant (previous treatment and/or operation reports, list of current medications, etc.)
- Payment (required on day of consultation)
- Medicare and private health fund card, DVA card if applicable
Schedule a bowel cancer screening appointment at our Essendon clinic today
Dr Nathan Connelly and his wife Nicole Starbucks-Connelly (a registered nurse) have been providing quality medical care and tailored treatment to people with gut, bowel and liver disorders for more than 10 years.