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.