Bruce’s story – We want to see our grandkids when we get older

Bruce is a Noongar man from Perth. In this video he encourages Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to do the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program test as soon as it arrives in the mail.


My name is Bruce Loo. I’m a Noongar man. My father’s country is the south-east coast of Western Australia. My mother’s country is the wheat belt. I was born in Whadjuk country. And I’ve lived in this country for 20 years.

The National Bowel Cancer Screening Program is a program which asks people to do tests on their poo to find out if they’ve got any symptoms of bowel cancer.

90% of the cases around bowel cancer are treatable if they’re actually found early. And that’s why it’s important to do this test.

The test kit comes in the mail. It’s a box that says National Bowel Cancer Program. And you need to actually open it up to have a look what’s inside and there are a number of things. The 2 things that stick out most are the tubes. A blue and a red tube. And a little napkin that you place in the bottom of the basin so you can collect the sample. And it’s a pretty easy process. Putting the pad down, doing what you have to do, and using one of the little sample sticks, putting it in the fridge — make sure you close it all off so it doesn’t affect anything else — and once you’ve done your second sample, you actually pack them all away, seal it all up, and there’s a prepaid envelope back to the National Bowel Screening Program and you just put it in the post.

I’ve done it twice.

The kit comes in the mail. If you actually throw it away you can actually order another one — you can ring the phone number or go on the website.

It’s very important for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to do this.

People do get apprehensive about lots of tests and the older we get the more tests we have to do. But it’s all about making sure we’re living healthy and we’re going to stay healthy.

Because we want to see our kids our grandkids and our great grandkids when we get older. So it’s important that people actually do them.

Particularly cancers and bowel cancer. It has a huge impact. One of our senior people may have passed away. And the ability for that person to pass on their knowledge — because that’s what we’re about, it’s handing on our knowledge to our younger people — if we don't get that chance through this kind of illness then our whole culture loses.

You can be as fit as, you can be strong as, but you don’t know until you actually do the test. The kit is the answer to actually making sure that you have not got bowel cancer

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Bruce explains that in up to 90% of cases, bowel cancer is treatable if it's found early. He highlights the importance of staying healthy for your family, community and culture and explains how easy it is to do the test

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