Colon cancer is a common cancer in Gibraltar and the third leading cause of cancer deaths. Screening for colon cancer saves lives.
Cancer arising in the lower part of the digestive system (colon) is known as colon cancer. It can cause frequent bleeding, obstruct the intestine and spread to other parts of the body. If untreated, the disease is almost always fatal.
Colon cancer can affect anyone; however, the risk increases if:
- you have a family history of colorectal cancer
- you suffer from an inflammatory bowel disease such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease
- you are older in age; more than 90% of cases occur in people over 50 years
- you are overweight, do insufficient exercise, and/or have a diet high in meat (particularly red and processed meats) and low in fruits and vegetables.
- you consume a large amount of alcohol, or smoke tobacco
For more information read the leaflet: Colon Cancer -The Facts
Colon cancer is often slow to grow and so if caught early can be treated completely. The earlier colon cancer is diagnosed and treated, the more successful treatments are likely to be.
The bowel screening test does not diagnose cancer but can detect tiny amounts of blood which you cannot normally see in your faeces. The screening involves a simple test that can be carried out at home, taking only a few minutes.
The GHA Bowel Screening Programme offers periodic screening free of charge to all men and women aged 60 to 74 years. Registration is not necessary, if you are entitled to GHA health care and fall within the above age group, you will receive an invitation to take part in the programme together with a test kit, which you can return to the hospital laboratory for analysis. Anyone aged above 75 years can call the screening office if they wish to participate.
For further information on this programme read the leaflet: Bowel Screening Programme
or contact the Screening Office on 200 07025.