The Federal Government wants your poo

By the end of 2019, every Australian aged 50 to 74 will have received a free home testing kit.

The Federal Government wants your poo

The Federal Government is investing $10 million into an advertising campaign to increase participation rates in the free lifesaving National Bowel Cancer Screening Program.

Bowel cancer is responsible for the second most common cancer-related deaths in Australia, with one in 11 men and one in 15 women expected to develop bowel cancer between the ages of 50 and 85. About 90 per cent of bowel cancers can be successfully treated through early detection, reducing the number of family, friends, and loved ones who die each year from the disease.

Between January 2015 and December 2016, 3.2 million free home test kits were sent out, with only 41 per cent of people returning samples for analysis. While this was a two per cent increase on the previous screening period, modelling suggests an increased participation rate to 60 per cent could save more than 83,000 lives by 2040.

By the end of 2019, every Australian aged 50 to 74 will have received a free home testing kit. The kit contains an instruction booklet, a zip-lock bag, two flushable collection sheets, two sampling sticks and sterile collection tubes, two identification stickers for the collection tubes, two transportation tubes and a prepaid envelope and checklist for the return of your samples.

“The campaign aims to create awareness about the benefits of early detection, prompt diagnosis and treatment,” said Health Minister Greg Hunt.

“This is the largest single investment in a national cancer-specific mass media campaign, reflecting the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program’s extraordinary capacity to save Australian lives.”

For more information, visit www.cancerscreening.gov.au.

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    COMMENTS

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    floss
    25th Jan 2019
    11:01am
    What happens if you are over74?
    maelcolium
    25th Jan 2019
    11:04am
    good point.
    Polly Esther
    25th Jan 2019
    11:35am
    You are in the poo! :-))
    KB
    25th Jan 2019
    11:57am
    Floss ask your doctor. I elected not to do it as doing samples too hard for me to do.
    moke
    25th Jan 2019
    3:21pm
    Good point floss I expect the government would hope that we will go quickly and cost them less money.
    vinradio
    25th Jan 2019
    11:35am
    You can pay for a kit at chemist, or get it from your GP. Might get a discount if an OAP, not sure.
    vinradio
    25th Jan 2019
    11:36am
    i have had the free kit, and one from my doctor, which I didn't have to pay for, as it's just like giving a urine sample.
    Sundays
    25th Jan 2019
    12:07pm
    I admit, when I received my kit in 2009 and read the instructions including having to store samples in the fridge and return via a post office I almost gave up. But it’s Important I was told, so took the test only to be told a few weeks later that there had been a problem with testing and the kits were reissued. I gave up. Now, if there was family history, or symptoms it might have been different
    Sundays
    25th Jan 2019
    12:19pm
    So maybe, sending kits by post is not the right approach. If the Gbernment Paid the local chemist to handle the testing it might achieve a better outcome. You could go where the instructions could be explained by a trained person (I thought they were too involved and bureaucratic), and return the samples to the same place.
    GeorgeM
    26th Jan 2019
    12:50pm
    It's a stupid process asking you to store the 1st sample in a fridge till you get the 2nd one. Who in their right mind would store poo in a fridge? That might explain why many don't do the test!

    Also, as Esty has noted below, sending it by Post defeats the purpose as it is exposed to normal temperature for days (add in Aus Post inefficiency) till it reaches the destination - meaning that the tests may be invalid anyway?

    The process must be changed so that each sample can be delivered straightaway either to the local chemist or the local lab whichever is closer. I think they can make arrangements (labs already do) to store such samples in separately allocated fridges.
    Jennie
    25th Jan 2019
    12:25pm
    "So what's the problem with finding cancer early? The main problem is we can't tell the bad cancers apart from the innocuous cancers and so we have to treat everyone. Thus cancer screening brings with it real risks of over-diagnosis and over-treatment."

    https://www.abc.net.au/health/thepulse/stories/2005/08/18/1438910.htm

    Do read this balanced article.
    Anne
    25th Jan 2019
    12:29pm
    My mother died from bowel cancer about five years ago. She'd been diagnosed five years earlier. She got a brief remission. However, her first surgery created a hernia which masked the subsequent cancer growth.

    Having the test is important. Yes, we're all going to die some time from something, but let's not go before our time if we can do something about it. Mum never got a test before her diagnosis. It was already too late by then...
    Anne
    25th Jan 2019
    12:30pm
    regrowth*
    Esty
    25th Jan 2019
    1:32pm
    I received a kit a few weeks ago. I haven't done anything with it because I don't see the sense in storing samples in the fridge, then putting them in the post where they cook (especially in heatwave conditions.) Where is the sense in sending these test kits in summer? I'll wait until the weather cools down!
    musicveg
    27th Jan 2019
    3:17pm
    That makes sense, bacteria will grow in heat and they might find something there that is not necessarily right.
    feefifofum
    25th Jan 2019
    2:43pm
    It’s such a quick & simple collection process - way better than having a colonoscopy! Due to family history of bowel cancer, I do the “Poo test” every 5-years, in between a colonoscopy every 5-years. Early detection people is the key to successful treatment. Dietary changes is the key to prevention. We are all responsible for what goes in our mouth and whether we participate in these tests - but we’ll be the first to complain when treatment isn’t successful because the cancer was too far progressed. For the life of me, I cannot understand why people don’t participate in any early cancer detection testing (due to a family history of Breast cancer, I also have annual mammograms).
    musicveg
    27th Jan 2019
    3:19pm
    Yes dietary changes are the most important thing, cutting back on meat,dairy and eggs which have no fiber and increasing fiber intake with fresh veggies and fruit goes a long way to improving your chances of health.
    Keithb
    25th Jan 2019
    10:20pm
    I have done the Rotary Bowel Test (in NSW) every year in April, yet the Federal Government sends me their kit too. Seems like a terrific waste of money to me, and distorts the return rate. About time they did some data sharing
    Hillbillypete
    26th Jan 2019
    9:53am
    All I can say is get it done!
    They found 2 things in my Bum!
    musicveg
    27th Jan 2019
    3:23pm
    I never do them, don't see the point if I am already healthy, more junk to throw in the bin, might send it back this year empty so they can recycle it. I prefer preventing health problems and I will not go down the road of the "sickness industry". I drink lemon juice every morning and celery juice when I have fresh organic celery available, eat lots of veg and fruit. Keep up your intake of fiber and if you are eating animal protein you must eat fresh veg with it because animal protein has no fiber. Cut out processed foods and keep fat intake low.
    Blossom
    27th Jan 2019
    4:45pm
    I know a person who had no symptoms but used the kit he received in the mail. Results resulted in surgery to remove 2 patches of cancer and the necessity for chemo as when they did a blood test a couple of weeks later there was also traces of cancer cells. Had he n ot had the blood test it may have resulted in bad consequences. Some GPs supply kits if they think there is need for testing outside of kit age range
    PlanB
    30th Jan 2019
    10:12am
    Seems over 70s pass through the cracks all the time ---

    You can always ask your own Dr to give you a testing kit -- and here is a good way to do it --
    Put a clean large Ice Cream container into the toilet bowl and you can do it easily from that after you take the container out -- clean it up for next time -- better than trying to capture motion from the toilet
    PlanB
    30th Jan 2019
    10:16am
    If you store it in the right way in an airtight container whats the worry --

    Do it doesn't matter if you are healthy or not you need to get it done --