Bowel cancer is one of the most treatable cancers – if it’s found early.
The Australian Government Department of Health and Menzies School of Health Research are working together with collaborators across Australia to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s participation rates in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP).
The NBCSP mails out a free bowel screening test to eligible Australians aged between 50 and 74. This test can help find changes in the bowel long before any symptoms occur.
Bowel cancer is one of the most common cancers in Australia, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participation rates in the NBCSP are low in comparison to the non-Indigenous population. The lower uptake of screening by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people may contribute to bowel cancer being diagnosed at more advanced stages when treatment is less likely to be successful.
National Pilot of an Alternative Pathway to the NBCSP for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
The National Pilot will involve up to 50 Indigenous Primary Health Care Centres (PHCCs) offering kits directly to their clients aged 50-74 years, as an alternative to the usual method of kits being mailed out from the NBCSP.
The project commenced in 2017 and is ongoing.
- Jenny Brands
- Christine Long
- Anne-Marie Dewar
- Georgina Smart
- Brian Arley
- Tamara Butler
- Matthew Plant
A set of resources that can be used to promote the NBCSP have been produced following widespread consultation and engagement with both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and health professionals.
The resources for the usual pathway include a poster, postcard and a brochure with easy to follow instructions to do the test, and information sheets for health professionals.
Four hip hop videos that were produced in collaboration with local communities to encourage screening are also available. Visit the website for further information.
The Australian Government Department of Health has funded Menzies School of Health Research to prepare for, and implement the National Pilot.