Mildura pharmacists dispense lifesaving bowel cancer screening advice

Monday 3 October, 2022

Cancer Council Victoria is partnering with three pharmacies in Mildura to increase participation rates in the National Bowel Screening Program to protect more of the community against bowel cancer.

Bowel cancer is Australia’s second biggest cause of cancer deaths. However, over 90 per cent of bowel cancers can be successfully treated if found early. To protect Australians, the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program provides adults aged 50 to 74 a free bowel cancer screening test in the mail every two years.

However, screening rates in Mildura sit at only 41.7% (reference 1), which is lower than the Victorian screening rate of 44.6% (reference 2).

To increase bowel cancer screening in Mildura, trained staff and pharmacists from three Mildura pharmacies will spark meaningful discussions with customers about bowel cancer screening and will help people re-order tests if required.

Participating pharmacies include:

  • Chemist Warehouse Mildura Central Shopping Centre
  • Mildura Direct Chemist Outlet
  • My Chemist Mildura

My Chemist Mildura proprietor Lee-Ching Tan said the store decided to be part of this project to support the Mildura community because, in the wake of the pandemic, locals found comfort in having another health care professional to speak to.

Chemist Warehouse Mildura Central Shopping Centre senior pharmacist Rose Vuong said their pharmacy’s staff would be on hand to offer support during the project and that staff were looking forward to having these conversations with the Mildura community.

Mildura Direct Chemist Outlet retail manager Olivia Lin said the store would offer visitors who were booked in for vaccinations the opportunity to learn about bowel cancer screening and help those who need to re-order a replacement test.

Cancer Council Victoria’s Head of Prevention Craig Sinclair said many people put off doing their bowel cancer screening test and don’t realise how easy, hygienic and reassuring completing the test can be.

“Bowel cancer screening is designed to check for signs of bowel cancer in people who do not have any obvious symptoms, and we know early detection is hugely important when it comes to bowel cancer,” Mr Sinclair said.

“Evidence shows that if we can increase screening participation from its current level to 60 percent across Victoria, we will be able to save 84,000 lives by 2040.

“Cancer Council Victoria is really proud to be working with these three local pharmacies in Mildura to share these lifesaving screening messages directly with the community. Every conversation that takes place may just save a life.”

If you have misplaced or thrown away your kit, or if your kit has expired, order a replacement kit by calling the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program Information Line on 1800 627 701 or completing the online form.