Tasmanian men falling behind

25 June 2014

Cancer Council Tasmania said today new figures released about adults participating in the National Bowel Screening Program are very concerning.

Cancer Council Acting-CEO Dr Kathryn Terry Australian government data showed only 3 in 10 Australians are completing the test compared to 4 in 10 in previous years.

“Currently, Australians aged 50, 55, 60 and 65 are invited to screen by completing a simple test (FOBT) that can be done at home,” Dr Terry said.

“Screening for bowel cancer with FOBT is one of the most clinically and economically effective public health measures available to Australians.
“It is very alarming that fewer Australians are taking advantage of this free resource. This test is one of the best ways of preventing bowel cancer because it is curable in 90% per cent of cases if detected early.”

Dr Terry said Tasmanian participation rates are slightly higher than the Australian average, however, they are still following the declining national trend.

“We are also concerned that Tasmanian males are less likely to participate in the program than females.

“Men in Tasmania have a higher incidence and mortality rate for bowel cancer than women and it is important that they recognise the connection between screening with FOBT and bowel cancer prevention”

“Regardless of whether you feel healthy it is vital to get in the habit of using this test as early detection with screening saves lives.”

“If you are unsure of what screening options are best for you, or you have trouble using the test, please go and talk to your doctor.”

Screen Shot 2014-06-26 at 12.39.46 pm
Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2013. National Bowel Cancer Screening Program monitoring report: July 2011–June 2012.
Cancer series no. 75. Cat. no. CAN 71. Canberra: AIHW.
Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2014. National Bowel Cancer Screening Program monitoring report: 2012–13.
Cancer series No. 84. Cat. no. CAN 81. Canberra: AIHW.
Source: AIHW 2012. National Bowel Cancer Screening Program monitoring report: phase 2, July 2008- June 2011.
Cancer series no. 65. Cat. no. CAN 61. Canberra: AIHW.

Media contact: A.Mark Thomas, M&M Communications, 0422 006 732