We must do bet­ter

Chinchilla News - - OPINION -

QUEENS­LAN­DERS over the age of 50 are risk­ing their lives rather than tak­ing a sim­ple bowel cancer screen­ing test, with a re­port find­ing 643,000 Aus­tralians threw away a free Na­tional Bowel Cancer Screen­ing Pro­gram kit in 2012-13. The find­ings have prompted Cancer Coun­cil Queens­land to re­new its call for all el­i­gi­ble Queens­lan­ders to take the test when they re­ceive it. Ac­cord­ing to the Aus­tralian In­sti­tute of Health and Wel­fare re­port, na­tional par­tic­i­pa­tion in the pro­gram fell to 33.5% in 2012-13. Cancer Coun­cil Queens­land spokes­woman Katie Clift said Queens­lan­ders over the age of 50 who took the test would have much bet­ter prospects of de­tect­ing the deadly dis­ease early and beat­ing it. “Bowel cancer was the state’s sec­ond big­gest cancer killer, caus­ing around 960 deaths per year,” she said. “Bowel cancer is cur­able in around 90% of cases if de­tected early. “This sim­ple test can mean the dif­fer­ence be­tween life and death, and we en­cour­age all Queens­lan­ders who re­ceive a free screen­ing kit in the mail this year to take part. We know the test is sav­ing lives and re­duc­ing un­nec­es­sary treat­ment costs – and we can save more lives by boost­ing par­tic­i­pa­tion. “Greater pro­gram par­tic­i­pa­tion in Queens­land is es­sen­tial. If we im­prove par­tic­i­pa­tion rates in our state we will find more cases at an ear­lier, more treat­able stage, and im­prove sur­vival rates.” Queens­lan­ders aged 50, 55, 60 and 65 are in­vited to screen by com­plet­ing a sim­ple fae­cal oc­cult blood test that can be done at home. People aged 70 and 74 will be in­vited next year, with the re­main­ing gaps in pro­gram cov­er­age filled by July 2020. Screen­ing kits are mailed to all el­i­gi­ble Queens­lan­ders. People aged over 50 who cur­rently fall out­side the tar­get group, or any­one con­cerned about bowel cancer, should talk to their GP.

Cancer Coun­cil Queens­land

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.