Eight days left for cheap Bowelscan test

Subsidised bowel cancer scan program to end in eight days

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Queenslanders aged 30 to 50 are being urged to take advantage of a subsided bowel cancer test kit before the program runs out at the end of the month.

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Queensland’s 30 to 50 year olds have only eight days left to cheaply test for bowel cancer this year.  It can be a life-saving action.

This is the advice from the Rotary Bowelscan Committee of Rotary District 9630, which is selling cost-only $15 test kits via 235 of Queensland’s 1500 or so pharmacies, or at $17.50 post-paid if ordered online.

The pharmacies make no sales charge, and Sullivan and Nicolidies Pathology provides Rotary with free test kit evaluation.

Last year the Rotary Bowelscan committee sold just over 3,000 test kits in Queensland that showed up more than 300 “positives”.  Early treatment saved an estimated 240 Queensland lives.

As a problem bowel cancer’s 4,000 deaths a year in Australia  is nearly three times worse than road deaths – which average around 1,300 Australians a year. Current online selling via www.rotarybowelscan.com is expected to increase this life-saving Queensland Rotary effort in 2017.

The Australian Government has allocated $96 million for free test kits every two years for 50 to 74 year olds.  Others have to pay $35 to $40 for test kits available via pharmacies.

Bar graph showing the estimated number of new cases of bowel cancer diagnosed in 2016, by five year age groups (0-4 to 85+).

Bar graph showing the estimated number of new cases of bowel cancer diagnosed in 2016, by five year age groups (0-4 to 85+).

The age-specific incidence rate for each five year age group is expressed as the estimated number of new cases of bowel cancer diagnosed per 100,000 persons, which is presented on the y-axis.

The estimated incidence rate of bowel cancer generally increases across the age groups, with persons aged 0-4 years having an estimated diagnosis rate of 0.0 cases per 100,000, while persons aged 85+ have an estimated diagnosis rate of 430.2 cases per 100,000.

Rotarians have had the collaboration of both many pharmacies and Sullivan and Nicolidies Patholgy for cost-only test kit sales in May and June each year to stimulate annual testing for blood excretions from bowel polyps.

If discovered early, such excretions can lead medicos to a 90% cure rate from bowel cancer. 

This Australian Government bar chart shows the bowel cancer death rate in Australia.

But a key fact for Rotarians is that if not discovered, bowel cancer polyps can take around 10 years to develop. 

So the 30 to 50 year age group needs adequate annual testing – because polyp bleeding is not always consistent.  If not discovered the bowel cancer can mean a fairly swift death, plus family, career and business tragedy.

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