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New data release from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) shows that South Australia has the highest rates of bowel cancer screening in the country.

The AIHW report provides the most comprehensive look National Bowel Cancer Screening Program participation in Australia.

The data shows that South Australia’s screening rate currently sits at 48.4%, with Tasmania the second highest state at 48.2%. The national average for National Bowel Cancer Screening Program participation currently sits at 43.8%.

The data also showed that Holdfast Bay was the region with the highest screening rate at 55.7%, with Yorke Peninsula coming in second at 55.5%. The Outback North and East had the lowest screening rate at 37.8%.

Cancer Council Spokesperson Liana Bellifemini said that while it’s encouraging to see South Australia leading the country in bowel screening, there’s still more work to be done.

“Bowel cancer is fourth most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia,” she said.

“Screening is the best way to detect bowel cancer, with up to 90% of bowel cancers able to be treated effectively if caught early. That’s why cancer screening is so important.”

“A screening rate of 48.4% means that there are still over 50% of eligible South Australians who aren’t doing the test. We want to see that number as close to 100% as possible. The more people who screen, the more bowel cancers we can detect and the more lives that will be saved.”

Australians aged between 50 and 74 receive a free bowel cancer screening kit every two years through the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program.

The at-home test kit can be performed in 10 minutes by taking a sample from two bowel motions. It is quick, painless and non-invasive—and it could save your life.

For more information on bowel cancer screening visit the Cancer Council SA website here.

If you or someone you love has been impacted by cancer or has any questions, Cancer Council’s Nurses are available from Monday to Friday, 9.00 am to 5.00 pm on 13 11 20.