Stopping Australians from flushing away a lifesaving opportunity

Tuesday 7 September, 2021

Talking about poo might be taboo, but it could save your life. 

That’s why, with your help, Cancer Council Victoria is continuing its mission to beat the stigma – while also celebrating the top 10 regions in Victoria with the highest bowel screening participation rate.  

The National Bowel Cancer Screening Program delivers bowel screening kits to the homes of eligible Australians aged 50–74 every two years.  

The test is free, quick and hygienic and can be completed at home and returned in the post. It looks for the early signs of bowel cancer, when successful treatment is more likely. It could save your life.  

Todd Harper, CEO of Cancer Council Victoria explained “Bowel cancer is Australia’s second biggest cancer killer claiming the lives of around 100 Australians each week. Thankfully however, we have a screening test that can detect these cancers early, often before symptoms arise.”  

Despite the benefits of taking the test, only 46% of eligible Victorians did the test in 2018-2019. That’s why through our campaign work, we continue to encourage Victorians to take the lifesaving test when they receive it in the mail.  

“Across Victoria we see significant disparities in participation rates. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare data shows that while participation has increased, there is still work to be done to increase bowel screening rates and save lives in our community,” explained Mr Harper.  

Who were the star poo-formers?  

We’re celebrating these 10 regions with the highest bowel screening participation rates in Victoria. They’re leading the way for other Victorians! 

  1. Surf Coast – Bellarine Peninsula (55.1%)
  2. Gippsland – East (53.7%)   
  3. Gippsland – South West (52.7%) 
  4. Wangaratta – Benalla (52.4%) 
  5. Heathcote – Castlemaine – Kyneton (51.2%)   
  6. Banyule (50.9%) 
  7. Macedon Ranges (50.9%) 
  8. Ballarat (50.4%) 
  9. Manningham – East (50.3%) 
  10. Barwon – West (50.1%)

How the 2019 National Bowel Screening Campaign saved lives    

The results of the 2019 campaign are in! Here's how you've improved participation rates across Australia and saved lives.

Bowel Campaign Infographic Bowel Campaign Infographic