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  • Coalition makes major commitment to bowel cancer screening - 35,000 lives saved

    22 August 2013

    Cancer Council SA Chief Executive, Professor Brenda Wilson, welcomed Shadow Health Minister Peter Dutton’s announcement today of the Coalition’s $46 million commitment to complete the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program by 2020.

    The full implementation of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program was Cancer Council’s top election priority, released last week.

    “Cancer Council's analysis shows that completing the screening program rollout by 2020, may prevent around 35,000 bowel deaths over the next 40 years – or an average of 875 deaths a year,” Professor Wilson said.

    Currently only people aged 50, 55, 60, and 65 are invited to participate in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program. Under the Coalition’s plan, bowel cancer screening will be made available to every Australian aged 50 to 74 every two years.

    Professor Wilson said the Coalition’s commitment was the best investment a future Australian government could make to reduce the cancer burden.

    “The Coalition should be congratulated for committing to the completion of the rollout of the program, which was introduced back in 2006.”

    Professor Wilson said she hoped the ALP would also commit to a fully implemented bowel cancer screening program by 2020 during the election campaign.

    Bowel Cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in South Australia accounting for 12.9% of all cancer deaths.

    Chances of surviving bowel cancer increase significantly the earlier it is detected – therefore it is important that people are given every possible opportunity to participate in this life saving program.

    “Cancer Council would not be able to achieve these great results without the generous support of the community on days such as Daffodil Day which will be held throughout the country tomorrow,” Professor Wilson added.

    Cancer Council election priorities: www.cancer.org.au

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