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Cancer Council calls on GPs


Paul Hayes


4/03/2019 2:30:34 PM

The Cancer Council is asking for GP support for what it calls ‘the biggest campaign ever run in Australia to promote bowel cancer screening’.

NHMRC guidelines recommend faecal occult blood test screening every two years, from ages 50–74. (Image: Cancer Council)
NHMRC guidelines recommend faecal occult blood test screening every two years, from ages 50–74. (Image: Cancer Council)

The Cancer Council wants GPs’ backing following research that shows they are a key source of information for patients eligible for the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program.
 
‘New research shows that the Cancer Council Victoria 2017 campaign resulted in approximately 12,500 extra Victorians screening for bowel cancer during the seven-week campaign period, potentially saving more than 300 people from developing bowel cancer and more than 180 from dying of bowel cancer,’ Cancer Council Victoria CEO Todd Harper said.
 
‘If we can increase the number of eligible Australians doing the test from four in 10 to six in 10, around 84,000 Australian lives could be saved in the next 20 years.’
 
Professor Jon Emery, GP and Cancer Council Australia medical adviser, agrees that GPs can play a key role in lifting screening rates
 
‘Increasing patient uptake can be as simple as doctors encouraging patients to do the home test, explaining what is involved in the test, and dispelling myths or sending letters or text messages to patients who are about to receive the test,’ he said.
 
‘The test is simple and clean and we know that after doing the test 77% of people repeat the test when next invited.’
 
The new campaign, funded by a $10 million Federal Government grant, will include two TV advertisements and is said to be the largest ever run in Australia to promote bowel cancer screening.
 
National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) guidelines recommend faecal occult blood test screening every two years, from ages 50–74, for people who are at average risk, or slightly above, for bowel cancer. People aged 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60, 62, 64, 66, 68, 70, 72 and 74 will be sent the free test via the post.
 
More information is available on the Cancer Council website.



bowel cancer Cancer Council screening



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