Downs Endoscopy Services is celebrating its 30th year of practice at a time when doctors are emphasising the importance of bowel cancer screening. Downs Endoscopy Services was founded in 1989 by four local doctors in response to an increased local demand for endoscopic procedures.

The group was the first to bring colonoscopy, gastroscopy and flexible sigmoidoscopy to the Darling Downs, and, since then, it is estimated that they have provided the service to over 55,000 patients from Toowoomba, south-west Queensland and northern New South Wales. The company was born from an innovative idea to provide an efficient open access service where patients could easily access quality “no gap” endoscopic procedures.

The group now consists of five specialist doctors, including a gastroenterologist. Bowel cancer will affect one in 13 Australians and one in 11 south-west Queenslanders before the age of 85. More than 15,100 Australians and 270 south-west Queenslanders are diagnosed with bowel cancer each year. If diagnosed early, 98 per cent of bowel cancer cases can be treated successfully. Procedures are performed on a daily basis out of both St Vincent’s and St Andrew’s Private Hospitals in Toowoomba with sedation administered by specialist anaesthetists to ensure patient comfort and safety.

Endoscopic procedures can be used to diagnose and manage a wide range of gastrointestinal conditions, including gastric reflux, Crohn’s disease and bowel cancer. With National Bowel Cancer Awareness month having just passed this June, now is a good time for people to see their doctor and discuss the importance of screening colonoscopies to reduce their risk of bowel cancer.

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