Drop in bowel cancer screening rates

The NBCSP’s participation rate fell from 38% between July 2008 and June 2011 to 35% between July 2011 and June 2012, according to the latest figures from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). 

Bowel cancer is Australia's second biggest cancer killer despite treatment having a 90% success rate if disease is detected early. 

However, fewer than 40% of cancers are caught early, according to Bowel Cancer Australia (BCA).

Colorectal surgeon Associate Professor Graham Newstead said the results were disappointing but not surprising.
“A good program was piloted more than 10 years ago but the NBCSP has been left to languish – no government awareness campaign to promote its lifesaving potential, no consistency with medical guidelines and no complete program until 2034,” he said.

“Awareness of bowel cancer and the benefits of screening remain low. So, when a kit arrives in the mail