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  • Workplace Education Aims to Save More Lives from Bowel Cancer

    28 April 2019

    Ahead of World Day for Safety and Health at Work (28 April) Cancer Council SA is urging employees to register their organisation for a free Bowel Cancer Workplace Education Program.

    The program, launched this month, aims to provide workplaces with the opportunity to promote bowel cancer screening and prevention to their employees and volunteers.

    Tragically, bowel cancer continues to be one Australia’s leading causes of cancer death, claiming more than 80 Australian lives every week.

    Here in South Australia, more than 1,200 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer every year.

    Despite the high number of cases diagnosed, only 46 per cent of eligible South Australians are taking part in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP).

    Cancer Council SA Chief Executive Lincoln Size says that in order for us to save more Australian lives, this statistic needs to change.

    “Cancer Council NSW research indicates that at current participation rates, the NBCSP is projected to prevent more than 92,200 cases of cancer and 59,000 deaths from 2015 to 2040.

    “If participation increased to just 50%, an additional 24,300 cases and 16,800 deaths could be prevented, which highlights why participation in the program is so vitally important,” he said.

    The Bowel Cancer Workplace Education Program complements existing workplace health and wellbeing programs.

    The program will cover:

    • A powerful 30 minute information session delivered at workplaces on the prevention and early detection of bowel cancer. The information sessions are delivered by a trained educator and are designed to fit into a lunch break, a wellbeing day, or a staff meeting.
    • A suite of promotional materials including posters, brochures, infographics and newsletter snippets to support key messages and encourage employees to get screened and reduce their risk of bowel cancer; and
    • An employee survey to evaluate the session.

    Mr Size said that the sessions are a fantastic way for organisations to support their employees to take advantage of a lifesaving national initiative.   

     “This World Day for Safety and Health, our message to South Australians businesses is to take advantage of these sessions, which actively support your employees to reduce their bowel cancer risk now, and in the future,” he said.

    For more information and to book a session at your workplace email prevention@cancersa.org.au or phone 08 8291 4189.

    Notes to Editor

    • Cancer Council recently launched a new Bowel Cancer Screening national campaign funded by a $10 million Federal Government grant
    • The Australian Government commenced a phased-in roll-out of Australia’s free screening program in 2006, with the final two age groups (52 and 56-year olds) added to the program for the first time this year. This means in 2019, people aged 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60, 62, 64, 66, 68, 70, 72 and 74 will be sent the free test in the mail.
    • From next year, free bowel screening kits will be sent on a two-yearly basis to all eligible Australians aged 50 to 74. 
    • Screening for bowel cancer involves a simple, at-home test called a faecal occult blood test (FOBT). This test looks for traces of blood in the poo which are invisible and could be a sign of bowel cancer.

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