THE Rotary Club of Ballarat South launched the Rotary Bowelscan Program 2016 last Wednesday, fittingly in the Atrium of the Ballarat Regional Integrated Cancer Centre (BRICC), Ballarat Health Services. Ballarat and District Bowelscan Coordinator Gordon Williamson said the Rotary Club of Ballarat South has been involved in the bowel scan community health program for eleven years.
The annual launch is always held at a different hospital including St John of God (Ballarat) last year, Creswick the year prior. “The kits go on sale on Sunday 1st May,” he said. “We make no money from this; it is purely for peoples’ health.
“All the pharmacies, except one, in Ballarat really support us very, very well because they make nothing out of it.”
BRICC Director Steven Medwell said the Bowelscan Program was a ‘terrific initiative’ to increase community awareness of bowel cancer. “This is an extremely important program,” he said.
“It runs for the month of May and I encourage everyone to add this to their check up list and it may save your life. “Bowel cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in Victoria – in 2013 there were over 3,700 cases diagnosed. In the Grampians region 90-100 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer every year, the median age is around 70.”
Chairman of Rotary District 9789, Graeme Hawkins, added, “You are not bullet proof there are many wives out there who say their husbands have that attitude that getting them to do the test is quite difficult.
“If you are talking to any of your male friends please make sure they do that test.
“The comment I frequently make to people is think of somebody you like to enjoy a coffee or glass of red wine with get them to do the test, you might be saving their life. “Our statistics from our figures are about 7 per cent of our positive tests are aged under 50, 43 per cent are aged over 74, 49-something per cent are aged between 50 and 74. “If you are over 50 please do the test, if you are under 50 let me give you a hypothetical – you are 42 years of age with two young children, would you like to wait till you were fifty and then discover you had advanced bowel cancer and you might not survive and wouldn’t see those children grow up? “My children got presented with bowel scan kits in the year they turned 40, and they take notice of their father and they did them, the other reason is their father is getting too old to be a full time carer of grandchildren.” BOWELSCAN is a community health awareness program supported by Australian Rotary Health.