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Five ways to support bowel cancer screening

Sep 26, 2020

IMG 2009 Five ways to support bowel cancer screening web2

Four in ten eligible Queenslanders participated in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (the Program) in 2017- 18.

If participation increased to five in ten, just over 75 000 Australian lives can be saved by 2040. National Health and Medical Research Council approved guidelines support the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program and recommend Faecal Occult Blood Testing (iFOBT) every two years from 50–74 years for those at average risk and without symptoms.

For more information or to access resources visit phone 1800 118 868. Patients are much more likely to screen for bowel cancer with iFOBT, if recommended by their primary care provider.

Here are five easy things you can do at your practice to improve participation:

  1. Display information. Display brochures, flyers and posters in your practice. They can be ordered free of charge from the Program website.
  2. Know the test and talk to your patients. Be familiar with the test used in the Program so you can explain it to patients. Demo kits can be ordered from NBCSP@health.gov.au and an instruction sheet is available on the Program website.
  3. Understand the Program. Online training modules and videos for GPs, nurses and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers are available on the Program website.
  4. Send a letter or SMS. Send a letter or SMS to 49 year olds to encourage participation when they turn 50. Templates are available on the Program website.
  5. Report to the register. Submit a GP Assessment Form for participants with a positive result and indicate whether a patient referred for colonoscopy is a Program participant.

General practices in the region are invited to participate in the PHN’s Cancer Screening Project, aimed at improving the cancer screening participation rates for breast, bowel and cervical cancer.

To participate in this quality improvement initiative contact Amie Horwood via amie.horwood@brisbanenorthphn.org.au or 07 3490 3454.

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