More men needed for bowel cancer screening project

The Tasmanian bowel cancer screening project, Bowel Screen Today, is seeking more male participants in the Glenorchy area. The project’s aim 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.”

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.”

bowel screening

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