Colonoscopy is important and should be something everyone has in their mid-40's and every 1 to 2 years from there on in. Especially if there is a history of bowel or rectal cancer in the family. In that case, it should be yearly. Australians are lucky in that these tests are covered by medicare, as is any treatment that may be required if a positive diagnosis comes of it. My father was diagnosed with bowel cancer after one such colonoscopy. He went through the public health system and his treatment has been amazingly good and fast. Within 2 days of his diagnosis, he was meeting the radiologist and was getting his radiology tattoo, and within a week, had started treatment. He was given free parking as well for the duration of his chemo and radiotherapy.. From his surgery, to the care he received in hospital (private room, great views), amazing nurses and doctors who walked him through having to adjust to life with a colostomy bag and the dietary challenges that came with it and his ongoing chemo and radio that lasted many months, his treatment was amazing. When his chemo caused issues in his throat and he was unable to swallow even water, they kept him in for a week after he collapsed at home and had to be rushed to hospital where they realised the issues his chemo was causing him, brought in speech therapists to work with his throat and taught him how to eat again, to get the food and liquids down past the issues the chemo had caused and it was all covered by medicare. His weight started to steady somewhat and slowly crept back up again.. He went into remission and was called back for a whole body scan as is normal (as well as his weekly blood tests to check his blood) in the course of remission and sadly, just over 2 months or so ago, they found a nodule in his lungs. Two more full body scans in the weeks after that to make sure it wasn't an infection saw us receive a horrid diagnosis of lung cancer. So in 4 days time, he has to have his bowel reattached (he had to get a colostomy bag when they removed the cancerous portion of his bowel) and as soon as he recovers from that, they are going to removed the nodule and a large portion of lung it is attached to to see if it is a new cancer, or if his bowel cancer has spread. Unfortunately, due to the risk of infection, he needs to have the bowel operation first, otherwise he would have already had his lung tumour removed. Because it was caught early and is a slow growing tumour, his doctors are very optimistic and positive. I cannot emphasize the importance of colonoscopies enough. It is vital. Bowel cancer is slow growing, yes, but it is also a killer. If caught early, you can survive it. Bowel cancer is particularly dangerous due to the many lymph nodes that line the bowel, so it can spread. For your family and yourself, get the check done. Check your family history if you are able to, ask questions about who may have had bowel cancer. Getting it early is better than getting the diagnosis too late.