A BlOOd test for colorectal cancer screening (BOOST): program outcomes relative to faecal occult blood tests
We are exploring new ways to increase bowel cancer screening uptake in the community. The reason that this is important is because early detection can prevent cancer or catch it at a treatable stage, but currently less than 35% of people screen for bowel cancer with the home stool kit sent out by the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program. Reasons for not doing the test may be due to dislike of the test, or having a medical condition which prevents people from being able to complete the test. We will test whether people who don't complete the stool test will screen for bowel cancer with a new blood test instead. By increasing bowel cancer screening uptake rates it can decrease the incidence of this disease in Australia.
What we aim to achieve
We aim to determine whether providing an option of a blood test, as well as a faecal test, within a standard bowel cancer screening program will result in more people being able to participate with screening. By having more people screening for bowel cancer, this should ultimately reduce the impact of this cancer in Australia.
What are the next steps and milestones for your research?
We have been awarded some additional funding for this study, so the with combination of funds from the Cancer Council SA this has allowed us to expand the study. As well as assessing whether participation will be increased in bowel cancer screening with different program styles, we will also be conducting behavioural studies, and cost effectiveness analysis. The results from our study will be presented at international conferences and will be published.
What motivates you to pursue cancer research?
Our research has shown that participating in bowel cancer screening allows for early detection and prevention or better treatment. I am motivated by the fact that our work can lead to thousands of lives being saved.
My message to supporters:
One-third of cancer deaths can be avoided through prevention, and another third through early detection and treatment. I thank you for your support as millions of lives could potentially be saved globally with funding available for cancer screening, promoting lifestyle change and reducing exposure to the agents that cause cancer.