22 June 2015

We’re pleased to see an increase in the number of people participating in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program following two years of decline.

The report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare released today shows overall participation has increased to 36%. South Australia recorded the highest participation rate with 42.5% of those invited completing their screening test.

However, the results show there is still a lot of work to be done to encourage more people to screen for bowel cancer.

A continued focus on public awareness about the importance of screening every two years from age 50 is vital if we are to save more lives.

Bowel cancer is Australia’s second biggest cancer killer, but up to 90% of cases can be successfully treated, or even prevented, if detected early.

The fact that the increase in screening is being attributed to high rates of re-participation shows people are more likely to screen regularly once they are familiar with the test and how simple it is.

The real challenge is getting people to take the test for the first time. We’re working hard to make a difference in this area.