Have you received a bowel cancer testing kit through the post? Hundreds of thousands of people have, as we make every effort to detect the early symptoms of bowel cancer.
Many people are learning that they need to be much more aware of the importance of the gut in maintaining their health. And many of us know people who struggle with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. In fact, Australia has one of the highest rates of these conditions anywhere in the world. These are inflammatory diseases of the bowel which, if left untreated or poorly controlled, can eventually lead to bowel cancer.
Here at St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney, we have more than a thousand patients with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. They’re mostly younger people, under 40, who need ongoing care to manage their condition. They need close and intensive monitoring – our aim is to eventually heal the bowel rather than just relieving symptoms.
At the moment, managing these conditions requires these patients to undergo a colonoscopy at least once a year, if not more often.
Using a specialised intestinal ultrasound offers an excellent non-invasive alternative for monitoring a patient’s progress. It can also aid in the initial diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease.
And there would be real benefits to our patients.
They can have an ultrasound in the course of a normal consultation with their gastroenterologist. No fasting, no unpleasant bowel prep, no need for follow-up appointments. It also means that we can reassess our patients more frequently – generally the results will be available on the spot so we can adjust treatments more quickly and more effectively.
We are convinced that this is truly the best way to help our patients and transform their treatment – and their lives.
This intestinal ultrasound machine will put St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney at the forefront of treating patients with inflammatory bowel disease.
The St Vincent’s Curran Foundation is raising $175,000 to purchase the specialised intestinal ultrasound machine.
If you would like to make a donation to support our patients, please click here.