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News item posted on Tuesday 15 August, 2017

Cancer Council calls on health professionals to help lift screening rates in Victoria

Cancer Council Victoria has launched an ambitious new campaign to lift bowel cancer screening rates in Victoria. We are calling on all health professionals to lend their voice by encouraging their patients to do the test when it arrives at their home as part of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program.

The mass media campaign includes TV, radio and online advertising and is the biggest bowel cancer public education campaign Cancer Council has ever rolled out in Victoria.
Bowel cancer claims the lives of more than 1,300 Victorians each year. This is four times more Victorians than road accidents1. If found early 90% of bowel cancers can be successfully treated. Despite this, only 40% of eligible Victorians complete the bowel cancer screening test when they receive it in the mail.
Cancer Council hopes that this campaign will help to increase participation to 50% and lead to an additional 20,000 Victorians taking the test this year.
Todd Harper, CEO of Cancer Council Victoria, said that a health professional’s encouragement can be extremely powerful when it comes to influencing patients’ health behaviours.
“We know that if a doctor recommends the home bowel screening test to a patient, they are more likely to do it than if they simply receive the test through the mail. We are asking all health professionals to help us improve Victoria’s current low 40% screening rate, by speaking to all their patients 50-74 years and encouraging them to complete the free home screening test.”
Find out more
A range of resources specifically for health professionals are available to help you support this campaign, including tips for encouraging participation, instructional videos, clinical guidelines and FAQs.
For Cancer Council resources including factsheets on bowel cancer prevention and risk, go to our order page and search for ‘bowel cancer’. In addition, the Understanding Bowel Cancer booklet has been prepared to help people understand more about bowel cancer. It explores treatment options for early and advanced cancer and how to cope with the changes bowel cancer and the treatment may bring.
1Victorian 2016 Road Toll - http://www.tac.vic.gov.au/road-safety/statistics/lives-lost-annual





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