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Bowel cancer – a simple home test could save your life

Monday 14 August, 2017


Cancer Council Victoria’s new screening campaign – the largest bowel cancer campaign the organisation has ever rolled out in Victoria – is aiming to lift bowel cancer screening rates. 

Bowel cancer claims the lives of more than 1,300 Victorians each year. This is four times more Victorians than road accidents*. The real tragedy is that many of these deaths are preventable. If found early, 90% of bowel cancers can be successfully treated, but only 40% of eligible Victorians currently complete the bowel cancer screening test when they receive it in the mail. 

Cancer Council Victoria hopes this campaign will help lift participation rates to 50% and lead to an additional 20,000 Victorians taking the test this year. 

The test is mailed to eligible people for free as part of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program. Cancer Council recommends that people who are aged between 50 and 74, and have no symptoms, complete the home screening test every two years. 

The test can help to identify the early signs of bowel cancer before there are any symptoms. It is free, simple and can be completed at home. Simply follow the instructions and post the completed test in the envelope provided.

Cancer Council Victoria CEO Todd Harper has a simple message: “If you’re aged over 50 and receive the free bowel cancer screening test in the mail, do it. It could save your life.”

If you or someone you know has symptoms or has been diagnosed with bowel cancer, call one of our experienced cancer nurses on 13 11 20 who can provide additional support and information.


*Data taken from Victorian 2016 Road Toll

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