Clinical Nurse Consultant for Queensland Bowel Cancer Screening Program Tania Mattinson is urging people not to neglect taking advantage of free bowel screening during COVD-19.
June is Bowel Cancer Awareness month and Ms Mattinson said it is an important time to encourage people to complete the free National Bowel Screening Program test.
“People can be assured that the Program has been running as normal, despite the COVID-19 pandemic,” Ms Mattinson said.
“If you have received your kit, please carry out the test in the privacy of your own home and return it in the reply-paid envelope.”
Mackay Hospital and Health Service continues to prioritise NBCSP participants to ensure early investigation.
“Bowel cancer doesn’t stop just because the world is in the middle of a pandemic. Early detection remains key to treatment and outcomes,” she said.
“Delaying a test or appointment could impact the amount of bowel cancers going undiagnosed, or prolong the time to diagnosis, leading to poorer long-term outcomes.”
Claiming the lives of 103 Australians every week, bowel cancer is the second biggest cancer killer in Australia and can develop without any early signs or warnings.
“Screening using the Faecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) can detect blood from pre-cancerous polyps from an early stage and when identified early, 90% of cases can be successfully treated”.
“I have seen great outcomes from the program, and I can’t stress enough how important it is to do your test”.
The National Bowel Cancer Screening Program tests Australians aged between 50 and 74 every two years. A home test kit is sent to you Medicare-registered address around the time of your eligible birthday.
For more information about the program phone 1800 118 868 or visit www.health.qld.gov.au/bowelcancer