Cancer Council say potty talk in the Mid West could save lives

Headshot of Lisa Favazzo
Lisa FavazzoGeraldton Guardian
Naughty child being told off
Camera IconNaughty child being told off Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The Cancer Council Mid West celebrated a big win last week — it got Geraldtonians talking about poop.

On June 24, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare data revealed a 6.4 per cent jump in the region’s participation rate for bowel cancer screening, with the figure jumping from 34 per cent in 2016-17 to 40 per cent in 2018-19.

It follows a 2019 nationwide education campaign, which resulted in an extra 93,000 Australians booking in for a screening.

Cancer Council WA’s cancer prevention and research director Melissa Ledger said: “The extra 93,000 tests completed nationally equates to 860 bowel cancers being prevented and 470 lives saved over the next 50 years.”

People in the Mid West and Gascoyne recorded the biggest participation rate improvement in WA.

“Bowel cancer is Australia’s second-biggest cancer killer, claiming the lives of around 100 Australians each week. Thankfully however, we have a screening test that can detect these cancers early,” Ms Ledger said. The screening program is for Australians aged 50-74.

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