01 July 2013
Cancer Council SA welcomes the introduction of 60 year olds into the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program, adding to the current eligible age groups of 50, 55 and 65 year olds.
From today, Australian’s turning 60 can expect to receive a letter and kit in the mail inviting them to take part in the program.
“Bowel cancer is the country’s second biggest cancer killer with almost 4000 lives per year being lost to this largely preventable disease, so this great initiative has the potential to save many South Australian lives,” says Professor Brenda Wilson, Chief Executive, Cancer Council SA.
“Anyone who receives a free kit, is strongly encouraged to complete it.
“Bowel cancer screening is vitally important as survival rates improve dramatically the earlier cancer is detected and it is such a simple test to do.”
Cancer Council believes more effort now needs to go into increasing participation in the program, as a recent Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report revealed only 38.4% (42.7% in SA) of Australians who received a free screening kit from the NBCSP completed the test.
“We know that there are areas within our South Australian community where participation in the national program is really low and we are committed to trying to improve this situation,” Professor Wilson added.
56 year-old Frankie Lipparelli has been working with Cancer Council SA to share his message about participating in the program, in a new Youtube video – “Frankie’s Story” being launched today.
Mr Lipparelli described doing the test and returning it in the post as “simple” and he did it because he wants to make sure he is around “to see my son become a Dad.”
“If you receive the test kit in the mail, do it and remember, it could save your life,” says Mr Lipparelli.
“The opportunity is there to be proactive about our health and it is up to people within these age groups, like Mr Lipparelli, to take action - not only for themselves, but for their loved ones as well,” says Professor Wilson.
For information people are encouraged to call the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program Information Line on 1800 118 868 or visit the website www.cancerscreening.gov.au, speak to their GP or call the Cancer Council Helpline 13 11 20.