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Locals celebrated for bowel cancer screening

bowel cancer screening
Bundaberg residents are serious about bowel cancer screening, with 46.8% eligible residents participating in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program.

Talking about poo might sometimes be taboo but Cancer Council is continuing its mission to beat the stigma, celebrating Bundaberg with 46.8% of eligible residents participating in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program. 

Cancer Council Queensland CEO Ms Chris McMillan said bowel cancer was Australia’s second biggest cancer killer, claiming the lives of around 100 Australians each week.

“Thankfully however, we have a screening test that can detect these cancers early, often before symptoms arise,” she said.

The promising participation rates in Bundaberg comes as new Cancer Council data shows the 2019 Australian Government funded Cancer Council National Bowel Screening Campaign was responsible for 93,000 people nationally doing these tests.  

“The extra 93,000 tests completed nationally equates to 860 cancers being prevented and 470 lives saved over the next 50 years,” Ms McMillan said. 

“Locals in Bundaberg who have completed their bowel screening test deserve a pat on the back and we would encourage everyone to talk to their friends and family who are aged 50-74 and ask them if they’ve done their test – talking about poo isn’t taboo when it could save your life.  

“Across Queensland we see significant disparities in participation rates. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare data shows that while participation has increased it still equates to only 4 in 10 completing their bowel screening test when it was sent to them in the mail.”

Top 10 regions with the highest participation rates:  

1.       Caloundra (48%) 

2.       Maryborough (47.9%) 

3.       Hervey Bay (47.7%) 

4.       Nambour-Pomor (47%) 

5.       Bundaberg (46.8%) 

6.       Burnett (46.4%) 

7.       Buderim (46.2%) 

8.       Maroochy (45.4%) 

9.       Caboolture Hinterland (45.3%) 

Ms Macmillan said it was Cancer Council’s goal to see all regions across the state have these high participation rates.

“We know that if we can increase participation across the country from 4 in 10 to 6 in 10, we could save 84,000 lives over the next 20 years,” she said.

“If you have the screening test at home and you’re yet to complete it, please do the test now.”

The announcement comes alongside new Australian Government funding for an ongoing campaign to get more people participating in bowel screening.  

The National Bowel Cancer Screening Program delivers screening kits to the homes of eligible Australians aged 50-74 every two years.

The test is free, quick and hygienic and can be completed at home and returned in the post.  

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