Bowel cancer is region's second most common cancer

THIS is what we know - one in 12 men and one in 17 women in the Wide Bay have a chance of being diagnosed with bowel cancer in their lifetime.

We also know bowel cancer is the second most common cancer for men and women in the Cancer Council Queensland's Bundaberg region, that also takes in Maryborough, Gayndah, Hervey Bay and Fraser Island.

Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said with these statistics in mind, bowel cancer screening tests were critical in ensuring early detection and potentially saving lives not just in the Wide Bay region, but across the country.

"It's crucial that if you are aged over 50, you participate in recommended bowel cancer screenings every two years, and discuss these screenings with your GP.

"This simple test, known as a Faecal Occult Blood Test, has the power to save lives.

"Bowel cancer is also known as one of the most preventable cancers."

Ms Clift said new research showed bowel cancer screening rates had declined, with only 33% of eligible Queenslanders doing the free test.

Queenslanders aged 50, 55, 60 and 65 can take part in the free National Bowel Cancer Screening program, while other Queenslanders can chat to their GP or pharmacist to access a test kit.

"Talk to your GP regularly ... and consult your doctor if you notice any changes in your overall health," Ms Clift said.

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