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Curtin research to help reduce bowel cancer in men

Media release

C098/11

Devesh Oberoi

Devesh Oberoi

A medical doctor has joined Curtin University from India to conduct research to help improve early diagnosis of bowel cancer in men.

Bowel cancer is the second largest cause of cancer deaths in Australia with one in 12 Australians diagnosed by the age of 85. If caught in time, 90 per cent of bowel cancer cases can be successfully treated.

Dr Devesh Oberoi’s PhD research will aim to identify the factors that stop men from seeking medical help by evaluating and assessing health-seeking behaviour.

It is already documented that men do not readily seek medical help when they first experience signs of bowel or rectal disorders.

“There is a tendency among men not to discuss symptoms such as diarrhoea, constipation, bleeding or abdominal pain with a family member or to seek medical help when they show symptoms that something is wrong,” Dr Oberoi said.

“This reluctance may be due to lack of access, cost or simply embarrassment.”

These first signs could indicate just the early stages of a problem, meaning that treatment can be undertaken and the patient can fully recover. However, many men only discover they have a problem when it is at the end stage of, for example, colorectal cancer, and it is too late to treat.

Dr Oberoi’s research will also examine the prevalence of colorectal cancer and develop new innovative techniques for assessing this disease.

“There are many methods currently in hand, but there are no significant results or reduction in the incidence of the disease in this country,” Dr Oberoi said.

“I hope that I can help to increase awareness and motivate people to seek timely intervention.”

Dr Oberoi has travelled to Perth from Dehradun, located 255km north of New Delhi. He graduated from Kasturba Medical College, Manipal University and has been passionate about medical research since his undergraduate days.

“So far I have found Perth to be a beautiful, peaceful place and I have met many nice people,” he said.

Professor Moyez Jiwa, his supervisor and Professor of Health Innovation at the Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute said he was delighted with Dr Oberoi and believed he would carry out good work at Curtin.

“I’m still humbled by the fact that he has given up three to four years of his life to be mentored by our team. That is no small commitment,” he said.

To undertake his research in Australia, Dr Oberoi has also been

  • An International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (IPRS) – that will pay for all his university fees. Dr Oberoi was ranked the number one applicant out of 240 applications.
  • An Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) scholarship – providing a living, thesis and relocation allowance.
  • A Datacom scholarship – Datacom Systems is one of the largest Australasian-owned professional IT service providers. The company contributes to many worthwhile charities through its innovative CSR program. The PhD scholarship program is a collaboration between Datacom Systems, Strike A Chord and Curtin University. The value of the scholarship is $75,000 over three years, with the possibility of an extension of up to 12 months.

Basil Lenzo, Managing Director of Datacom Systems said Dr Oberoi’s passion and desire to make a difference was strongly aligned to Datacom’s culture.

“We are delighted to welcome him as part of our team,” he said

Contact:

Teresa Belcher, Public Relations, Curtin University
Tel: 08 9266 9085; Email: teresa.belcher@curtin.edu.au

Devesh Oberoi, Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute (CHIRI), Curtin University
Mobile: 0425 611 233 Email: d.oberoi@postgrad.curtin.edu.au