Bowel cancer risk at centre of discussion.
In the case of bowel cancer, there may be no symptoms at first (this is where the kit can be useful), or blood in stools, change in bowel movement, abdominal pains, tiredness, loss of appetite or unexplained weight loss.
This article was written by Jan Wennekes and was published in the Mid-West Times on 27 March 2019
On March 12, the monthly lunch meeting for Geraldton and Districts Seniors Action Group was held in the Queen Elizabeth II Centre lower hall. The meeting was attended by 55 members, with three apologies. Card winners were Janet Rodan, Margaret Shields, Pat Blackmore and Ian Mansfield. The meeting was opened by president Trevor Hansen. Minutes were read and reports were presented.
Guest speaker for the day was Kate Raston, who is regional education officer Mid West for the Cancer Council Western Australia. Kate is trying to increase awareness in the community of ignoring the risk of bowel cancer.
One in 12 persons will be diagnosed with bowel cancer and it is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia, with about 17,000 new diagnoses estimated in 2018. A study in NSW
had found that bowel cancer (colon and rectal) is increasing in Australians under the age of 50.
Bowel cancer screening kits will be posted from 2019 to everyone in the 50-74 age group every two years. Ninety-two per cent will have a negative result, 8 per cent a positive result and out of these, about 5 per cent may have cancer. These kits can be purchased from a pharmacy as well. In the Mid West region, only 4 1 ⁄2 per cent of eligible local residents are using the kit.
According to Kate, this is not good enough. The earlier the diagnosis, the greater the chance of successful treatment.
Kate produced a kit and proceeded to explain to the members the process. Two members told the group they were survivors of bowel cancer due to the test kit.
There has been a Find Cancer Early Campaign in the media, encouraging people to go straight to the doctor if symptoms occur.
In the case of bowel cancer, there may be no symptoms at first (this is where the kit can be useful), or blood in stools, change in bowel movement, abdominal pains, tiredness, loss of appetite or unexplained weight loss. Some of these symptoms could be attributed to other illnesses, so a visit to a doctor is necessary.
Cancer Council WA is offering grants of up to $200 to community groups in regional WA to raise awareness of bowel cancer.
If your group is interested in having a community event to raise awareness, Kate can be contacted on 0406 620 665 or 9956 2406, or by visiting Mid West Community Health Centre in
Shenton Street, Geraldton.
Kate made a very awkward subject very interesting and the group enjoyed her presentation. Thank you, Kate.
The Colin De Grussa Bowling Tournament was held in March but results were not available for this edition and will be included in the April edition.
Lunch of Italian meatballs, mashed potato, peas and carrots was served, followed by buttercake with blueberry compote, lemon curd and mascarpone cream for sweets. There will be no darts on April 1 due to painting in the room but table tennis will be played in the lower hall. There has been a delay in the start of the bowls pairs competition on Monday afternoons but it will now run from April 1 to 29 (five weeks).
We were sorry to learn of seniors who have been unwell and wish them a speedy recovery. Sending our sincere condolences to those members who have lost a loved one recently.
For more information about, visit www.seniorsactiongroup.org.au.
Jan Wennekes is a committee member of Geraldton and Districts Seniors Action Group.