Help save 84,000 lives in 20 years by increasing bowel cancer screening rates

Monday 29 April, 2019

Cancer Council have launched a new nationwide campaign to increase participation in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP). This campaign is thanks to $10 million received from the Federal Government to encourage more Australians to screen.

The NBCSP is one of Australia’s most important public health programs. The program has the potential to prevent 83,800 bowel cancer deaths by 2040 if program participation increases to 60%. In 2016-2017, only 41.3% of eligible Australians participated in the NBCSP.

We will target Australians aged 50-74 through TV, radio, outdoor, and digital advertising and encourage them to do the at-home test when they receive it in the mail.

Health professionals are integral to the success of this campaign and the NBCSP. Evidence shows that a recommendation during consultation is a key motivator to screen. You can promote participation through:

  • Endorsing the program by displaying brochures and posters,
  • Encouraging patients aged 50-74 to do the test by:
    • Undertaking an audit of practice records and sending a letter or SMS to under- screened patients aged 50-74 encouraging participation,
    • Demonstrating how to use the NBCSP kit with eligible patients,
    • Sending a letter or SMS to patients nearing their 50th birthday to encourage them to complete the test when they first receive it.

Resources to help health professionals support this campaign, including tips for encouraging participation, instructional videos, clinical guidelines and FAQs, are available at

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