How one gift helped tackle bowel cancer

Wednesday 13 February, 2019

Louise, bowel cancer survivor

Seeing Cancer Council's ad on TV prompted Louise to take the bowel screening test - a test that would eventually save her life.

It all started with a gift in a Will. One family wanted to do something to reduce the impact of cancer, so they left a sizable donation to Cancer Council Victoria.

This generous family wanted their legacy to help future generations.

Cancer Council Victoria used this money to launch its first-ever mass media bowel cancer prevention campaign, which urged eligible Victorians to participate in the National Bowel Screening Program Test when they received the test kit in the mail.

If detected early, 90% of bowel cancers can be successfully treated. Yet tragically, the test is ignored by 59% of the population. Bowel cancer still claims the lives of around 4,000 Australians each year.

The 2017 campaign resulted in about 12,500 additional Victorians taking the test. It’s estimated that this prevented about 200 cancer cases and saved approximately 120 lives.

This success prompted Cancer Council Victoria to run the campaign again last year, this time with the help of our donors.

With the help of people like you, we’re able to educate more Victorians about the importance of screening for bowel cancer, which saves more lives.

“I’d actually lost my test. When I saw the ad on TV I thought I better order one just in case. I had stage 3 cancer. The doctor said had I not done the bowel screen, I would have been organising palliative care at Christmas,” – Louise, bowel cancer survivor.

The success of the 2017 and 2018 Do the test – it will save your life campaign was not to be ignored.

What started off with a gift in a Will, will now help people all around Australia.

Last month, the Australian Federal Government announced that it will provide Cancer Council with $10 million so that we can continue the vital work that you helped start. This unprecedented investment will fund a similar national bowel cancer prevention campaign in 2019.

You should be so proud of all you have helped achieve – your support helped pave the way for a national campaign that will save thousands of lives in all Australian states and territories.

Currently only 4 out of 10 eligible Australians participate in the National Bowel Screening Program. If we can increase this figure to just 6 in 10, around 84,000 lives can be saved in the next 20 years.

Thank you again to the generous Hynam family and to all our donors. Your support brings us closer to a cancer free future, and that’s truly wonderful.