It's BowelScan time - a test that could save your life

FREE TEST: By 2020 all Australians aged between 50 and 74 years will be offered free screening every two years.

FREE TEST: By 2020 all Australians aged between 50 and 74 years will be offered free screening every two years.

MY first bowel cancer test kit was binned soon after it arrived in the mail.

The good wife seems happy to have a trophy husband but is not so excited about his increasing age.

It is one of those things about a woman a man is not supposed to understand.

How the husband being old somehow rubs off on the wife, and makes her old by association.

“You don’t need that, you’re not old enough,” she said.

Frankly, I welcomed the excuse, it didn’t sound like a particularly pleasant task.

But the National Bowel Cancer folk were anxious to make sure I was okay and sent another pack a few years later.

Hoping my wife would also send this one to the landfill, I mentioned the mail.

“Don’t be a woose,” she said.

“Women have all sorts of people poking and prodding at them all through their lives, chin up.”

Suitably chastened, my wife nonetheless laboured the point, men are obviously so thick we need constant advice.

I was reminded of the rectal examinations which I had often whinged about.

The older you get, the more doctors become interested in areas which should really be of little interest at all.

So the kit was opened, laid out and the literature read.

No point poking about with poo and making a mistake with it.

If you’ve ever tried to follow the instructions of an Ikea flat-packs, we it was nothing like that. Not even close.

But it does involve two “samples”, and it can be fun having a laugh with family after about who was going to take the envelope down to the postbox.

I’d never seen the kids move faster off the couch.

The results came back quickly, the whole experience forgotten about faster than the doctor who says “now just pull your knees up your chin” while lying semi-naked on his examination table.

Men are guilty of avoiding doctors when they can, but I can report a satisfaction that all was well with the pooper valve and the doctor was not involved at all.

By 2020 all Australians aged between 50 and 74 years will be offered free screening every two years, consistent with National Health and Medical Research Council recommendations.

Rotary clubs around the country have famously become involved with spreading the word about how simple, yet important taking the free test is. Australia has the second-highest incidence of bowel cancer in the world. Ask your chemist for information.

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