Oversees Patients Aren't Getting Enough Colonoscopy Screening

Researchers from the University of Melbourne and the CSIRO reported in a Cancer Prevention Research study that a great number of Australians who have a family history of bowel cancer do not undergo regular screening through colonoscopy. 71% of those who are considered high risk do not go for checkups, 24% had some irregular screening and only 4% had screening of a regular basis.

Physicians recommend a colonoscopy every 2 to 5 years for people who have a family history of colon cancer or similar illnesses. There should be a thorough screening than the regular faecal occult blood test should be made for those who are over 50 years old.

Mr. Driss Ait Ouakrim and Associate Professor Mark Jenkins are the main researchers for the study. Both are from the University of Melbourne’s School of Population Health.  1,627 individuals who had a strong history of bowel cancer were surveyed as to practicing screening every 2 to 5 years.  The participants were from the Australasian Colorectal Cancer Family Study.

From the survey, it was known that those who followed a regular schedule for colonoscopy were between the ages of 40 and 49. They were well educated and were residents of Australia for not less than 20 years.

The importance of screening through colonoscopy cannot be discounted.  This procedure is needed to discover if there are pre-cancerous polyps and these to be removed before they develop into full-blown cancer.  The early detection of cancer is one way to prevent complications and even death.  According to Associate Professor Jenkins the number of screening with the high risk group was extremely low. He also stressed that there should be further research on why screening cannot be implemented on this high risk group and how this can be remedied.

It has been shown that Australia is one of the countries with a high rate of bowel cancer. Health officials and doctors in the country have recommended that regular colonoscopy should be made even if there is no history of bowel cancer in the family.  A faecal occult blood test will not indicate that there is a problem thus it is insufficient.  The more knowledge of a lineage of bowel cancer victims in a family is enough reason to undergo screening.

The alarming rise of bowel cancer in the country has resulted in the Federal Government’s National Bowel Cancer Screening Program.  The program makes available free screening for the citizens when they reach the ages of 50,55 and 65.  This is the Australian government’s way to prevent cancer among its populace.  It is known that 20% of the population have a family line of bowel cancer sufferers. Another 3% have history of illnesses to warrant a colonoscopy.  The high risk group should see a physician about getting a screening and discuss on how to go about preparation.