National Bowel Cancer Screening Program kit.
National Bowel Cancer Screening Program kit. Bowel Cancer Australia

Cancer screenings 'ignored' in the west

A LACK of participation in cancer screenings in the Charleville region has become cause for concern among health professionals.

The latest figures show only 32 per cent of people are completing a test for bowel cancer, and the region, as part of Western Queensland has the lowest participation rate of bowel cancer screenings out of all Primary Health Networks in Queensland.

However, local services are still doing what they can to raise participation numbers, said co-ordinator of the Healthy Ageing Program, Annie Liston.

"Every year in August we provide extra screening kits to people who may fall outside the age range, and explain to our clients at Healthy Ageing how to use them,” she said.

"We've been doing it for four years now, working to complement the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program.”

The National Bowel Cancer Screening Program currently invites men and women aged between 50 and 74 to screen every two years, using a free kit which is sent in the mail.

In light of the statistics which reflect a wide region, Cancer Council Queensland CEO Chris McMillan said people need to make the test a higher priority when the time comes around.

"Early detection is vital, as the earlier we can detect cancer, the more effectively it can be treated,” Ms McMillan said.

"The test is quick, simple and you can complete it in the comfort of your own home.”

Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in Queensland, with over 3070 people diagnosed each year.


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