Source: Cancer Council 

Did you know bowel cancer claims the lives of more than 80 Australians every week? The Cancer Council is asking for the support of GPs in its new campaign to promote bowel cancer screening to Australians.

Following a campaign in Victoria in 2017, the Cancer Council is now set to roll out a new $10 million national campaign funded by a Federal Government grant.

The campaign will include two TV advertisements and is said to be the largest ever run in Australia to promote bowel cancer screening.

New research ahead of the campaign showed GPs were a key source of information for patients eligible for the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program.

Why was the Cancer Council Victoria 2017 campaign a success?

During the 7-week campaign period, approximately 12,500 extra Victorians were screened for bowel cancer, which means more than 300 people were potentially saved from developing bowel cancer and more than 180 potentially saved from dying.

Cancer Council Victoria CEO Todd Harper said: “If we can increase the number of eligible Australians doing the test from four in 10 to six in 10, around 84,000 Australian lives could be saved in the next 20 years.”

How can GPs help?

GPs and doctors can encourage patients to do the home test by explaining what’s involved and dispelling any myths surrounding the screen test.

Educating people about the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program is key. Eligible people aged 50 to 74 can screen for bowel cancer using a free, simple test at home.

National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) guidelines recommend faecal occult blood test screening every two years.

For more information visit the Cancer Council website.