Bowel, or colorectal cancer, is Australia’s second most common cancer and contrary to some misconceptions is almost as prevalent in women, as it is in men.
That’s why it is imperative that women, just like men, report family history of the disease and/or symptoms to their GP as soon as detected.
“The old statement, ‘don’t die of embarrassment’ in relation to bowel cancer, is as valid for women as it is for men,” according to gastroenterologist Dr George Radvan, from Newcastle Endoscopy Centre.
“The disease does not discriminate across gender and can occur in young people, male or female.
“The incidence increases with age, which is why the government’s screening program begins at age 50.”
The good news is bowel cancer is preventable, treatable and curable if caught in its early stages.
Symptoms include bleeding, recurring stomach pain, change of bowel habit (constipation or diarrhea) and/or family history.
Newcastle Endoscopy Centre is Newcastle’s only dedicated, stand-alone endoscopic facility, specialising in non-invasive procedures for bowel (colonoscopy) and stomach (gastroscopy) cancers using state-of-the-art equipment.
Sixteen specialists operate out of the nationally accredited site at Charlestown, which was opened four and a half years ago in response to demand in the region.
Considered a centre of excellence, the facility has seen over 10,000 patients since.
“Newcastle Endoscopy Centre offers patients, and particularly women, a pleasant, private environment for what is a potentially embarrassing procedure,” Dr Radvan said.
“Our satisfaction rates exceed 99 per cent and we’ve had tremendous feedback that women find this a very discreet service.
“It’s extremely personalised, and we pride ourselves that our nursing staff are high calibre and very reassuring.
“Patients also comment on how warm, courteous and reassuring our reception staff are.”
Open access referral is another feature at Newcastle Endoscopy Centre.
“Traditionally a GP would refer a patient to a specialist,” Dr Radvan said.
“This involved potential delay in seeing the specialist and getting onto waiting lists.
“Open access enables GPs to refer patients to the centre which either allocates the patient to the GP’s specialist or the first available specialist if the GP is worried that any delay could be a problem.
“This results in substantial time and cost savings for the patient.”
Newcastle Endoscopy Centre is conveniently located at 20-22 Smith Street, Charlestown, with easy access to public transport and parking.
For more information visit www.newcastleendoscopy.com.au.