Bowel cancer is Australia’s second biggest cancer killer, but if detected early, more than 90% of cases can be successfully treated.
Unfortunately, only 43.5% of all eligible people aged 50-74 complete the kits sent to them every two years. If we could increase the participation rate to 60%, 84,000 lives could be saved over the next 20 years.
On 20 June, Cancer Council Australia, in partnership with the Australian Government, launched a national bowel cancer screening campaign. The Get2it campaign across TV, radio, out-of-home media and PR, aims to increase participation in the NBCSP.
The campaign will likely result in a greater number of enquiries to practices about bowel cancer and screening. This presents an important opportunity for GPs and primary care health professionals to endorse the program and support their patients’ participation.
GPs are vital in identifying patients who have never screened or are not up to date with their screening. Research undertaken in 2021 by the Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer (CBRC) identified three types of people who are not participating in bowel screening: Refusers, Intenders and the FOBT Naïve.
Each face specific barriers to participation and GPs and primary care health professionals are critical in responding to these challenges. We know that once people choose to screen, 80% will screen again when next invited.
Bowel screening saves lives and evidence indicates that encouragement from a health practitioner greatly influences people’s intention to screen. That’s why Cancer Council is asking all GPs and primary care health professionals continue to encourage their patients to Get2it and take part in bowel cancer screening.
Please visit Bowel Cancer Australia for useful resources or more information about the campaign.
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