Six years on after a close scrape with death, 57 year old Nedlands based Brett Burden remains as passionate as ever about ‘sticking it to bowel cancer’.
“The older I get the more I realise how lucky I was to dodge a bullet,” Mr Burden said.
In 2011 the then 50 year old said he reluctantly completed a test sent to him as part of the National Bowel Screening Program (NBCSP) which dramatically changed his life. The NBCSP invites Australians over the age of 50 to screen for bowel cancer using a free and simple test at home.
As a fit and healthy personal trainer and masseuse, Mr Burden said the positive result was completely overwhelming.
“I had no symptoms and no family history of cancer so I was totally dumbfounded to be told I had bowel cancer.”
Mr Burden underwent surgery to remove a section of his bowel shortly after his diagnosis followed by six months of chemotherapy because the bowel cancer had spread to his lymph nodes.
He is now lending his support to our ‘Stick it to number 2’ campaign.
“If it wasn’t for the screening kit there is so much I would’ve missed out on, the arrival of my four grandchildren for one thing,” he said.
While Mr Burden remains cancer free he has become a strong advocate for the screening program and never misses an opportunity to encourage others to use it.
“As a personal trainer, I’m a strong believer in the benefits of training hard to keep your body strong but I’m now equally as determined to encourage everyone to do the bowel cancer screening tests if it is sent to them.
“Why would you want to risk death from bowel cancer if you can avoid it through using the testing kit? It’s a simple procedure….I cannot understand why you would not do it.”
Our ‘Stick it to number 2’ campaign has been developed by with the aim of boosting the number of eligible West Australians who presently participate in NBCSP.
Our Cancer Smart Manager, Melissa Ledger said despite the fact bowel cancer is one of the top causes of cancer death in WA only 41 per cent of those sent a kit are currently participating in the screening program.
The purpose of our new campaign is to reduce the ‘scary’ factor of testing your own poo, promote discussion about bowel screening and to hopefully ‘normalise’ the testing process.
“Using the kit, which is delivered via your mail can prevent up to 90% of bowel cancer deaths,” Ms Ledger said.
For further information on the campaign visit http://www.stickittonumber2.com.au/ or call us on 13 11 20