Bowel Cancer Screen study needs male participants

20 March 2014

A Tasmanian bowel cancer screening project is seeking more male participants.

The aim of the Bowel Screen Today project is to increase male participation in bowel cancer screening in Glenorchy.

Cancer Council Tasmania CEO Penny Egan said an initial focus group had been undertaken but the project team now want to talk with men who are eligible but are yet to take part in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program.

“The project seeks to understand why Glenorchy men aged 50-74 have not taken part in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program which began in Australia in 2006,” Mrs Egan said.

“The free screening is offered to people turning 50, 55, 60 and 65 years of age and helps to find pre-cancerous changes.

“We know that early detection can save lives.

“Bowel cancer is the second most common cancer diagnosed in Tasmanian men. In 2010, 290 Tasmanian men were diagnosed and 89 men died from bowel cancer.

“The number of Tasmanian males taking part in the National Bowel Screening Program is lower than for females, (39.6 per cent versus 46 per cent).”

Mrs Egan said the Bowel Screen Today project was a health initiative aimed at increasing participation in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program.

“We are conducting the project in the Glenorchy local government area because we know that Glenorchy is an area that has a lower rate of male participation compared with the Tasmanian average for males,” she said.

“The first stage is focussing on understanding the local needs of the Glenorchy community and the challenges and reasons why men have not been participating in the national screening program.

“Once we have identified why men are not taking part we can tailor a campaign to encourage their participation.”

Glenorchy Mayor Alderman Stuart Slade said it was important to understand why men in the Glenorchy area were not taking advantage of free bowel screening.

“There seems to be a reluctance for men to be screened and I am pleased that the Cancer Council Tasmania project is trying to find out why men are not participating the screening,” Ald Slade said.

“I think many men simply think they won’t get cancer. They believe it won’t happen to them.

“Early detection and better treatment has improved survival for people with bowel cancer.

“I have participated in the national screening program since I turned 50, eight years ago and I would encourage other men to do the same.”

For media enquiries please contact: Sue Bailey on 0417 550 279

bowel screening

Dr Kathryn Terry (CCT) and Glenorchy Mayor Alderman Stuart Slade