National Bowel Cancer Screening Program

In May 2006, The Australian Commonwealth Government commenced the National Bowel Cancer Screening Programme for the early detection of bowel cancer, sending a bowel cancer test kit via the mail to eligible recipients.

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Bowel cancer kills someone in Australia every two hours. This is twice the road toll! There are 12,500 bowel cancers diagnosed annually in Australia making it one of the most common cancers. Ninety Australians die each week from this disease.

The lifetime risk of bowel cancer is 1 in 20.

Bowel cancer has the potential to be detected early by faeces testing or colonoscopy.
Early removal of a benign polyp (pre cancerous growth) , called a polypectomy , can be curable.

nbcsp-video

How to do the bowel cancer test? Watch this video

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Polyp removal at colonoscopy via a snare

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bowel cancer has the potential to be detected early by colonoscopy.

Early removal of a benign polyp (pre cancerous growth) , called a polypectomy , can be curable.

The Government is offering A FREE human haemoglobin colon specific faecal occult blood test (FOBT) as part of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program. It assesses for microscopic bleeding from possibly a bowel polyp (benign tumour) or bowel cancer. This FOBT kit is mailed out to every 2 years to all Australians aged 50 -74 years. The results will be posted to the patient and to their usual GP. Of these, perhaps only half will agree to participate. Those with positive faecal occult blood test (5-10%) will need colonoscopy. Often no cause will be found for the positive FOBT.

Colonoscopy remains the most accurate test and some patients will prefer to have this performed every 5-10y as an alternative to the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program especially if there is a family history of bowel cancer or bowel polyps in 1st or 2nd degree relatives. Patients who do not have bowel related symptoms may have a positive faecal occult blood test a will require a colonoscopy to assess for a pre-cancerous bowel polyp or even early bowel cancer.

Please talk your GP about a colonoscopy rather than a FOBT if you have a family history of bowel cancer or bowel symptoms.

The National Bowel Cancer Screening Program may save thousands of lives by the early detection of this preventable disease.

apointment Please contact us to arrange a colonoscopy. It could save your life!