Bowelscan promoters Ray Inglis and Bob Kretchmann (front) encourage all over 40s to have the check done each year.
Bowelscan promoters Ray Inglis and Bob Kretchmann (front) encourage all over 40s to have the check done each year. Nev Madsen

Pair share importance of project

BOWELSCAN promoters Ray Inglis and Bob Kretchmann know better than most the importance of annual medical checks.

Both survivors of bowel cancer, the annual Rotary supported Bowlscan Project each March has the pair out among the community encouraging everyone over 40 to have the scan test done.

"Bob's (cancer) was picked up through the project and, while mine wasn't, because of the project, I knew the symptoms so I went and had a colonoscopy and the doctor told me I had bowel cancer," Ray said.

"If detected early, there is a 90% chance of recovery with bowel cancer.

"The main thing is not to be afraid and to have a check every year if you're over 40."

Bob said bowel cancer killed more Australians each year than breast cancer or prostate cancer, making the Bowelscan Project very important.

"There were 14 positive tests picked up through the project last year in the Toowoomba region and about 400 since the program started here in 1999," Bob said.

"Australia-wide there are more than 300 Rotary Club sponsored Bowelscan Projects."

Throughout March, those looking to be tested simply attend a participating pharmacy - there are 26 in Toowoomba alone - where they can buy a test kit for $6.

They then return the sample to the project's appointed pathologist, Sullivan Nicolaides, where the samples are tested for free.

"We have a medical man in Ipswich, Dr Cec Doughty, who contacts anyone who returns a positive test," Ray explained.

"The about 90% who receive a negative result get a letter telling them the good news."

Test samples will be received until late April.

Ray, Bob and other Bowelscan Project helpers will be running information stands at Clifford Gardens and K-mart shopping centres from March 5 to 10.


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