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More Australians do bowel kit business

More Australians do bowel kit business
Photo: More Australians do bowel kit business
More women than men took part in free national bowel cancer screening program, says latest report

More Australians are taking part in the free screening for bowel cancer program although men do the test less than women, a new report shows.

Bowel cancer is the second most common cause of cancer deaths in Australia with approximately 80 people dying each week.

Of the 1.4 million people aged 50, 55, 60 or 65 invited to screen between July 2013 and June 2014, 36 percent completed the kit for analysis.

This compares to 33.4 percent in the previous year, says the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program Monitoring report 2013-14.

The increase is attributed to the start of a second round of invitations for 55 and 60 year olds who participated five years earlier.
More than 70 percent of them did the test again.

Of the total tests returned, 7.5 percent needed further investigations.

Of the 68 percent who had a follow-up colonoscopy, 748 had confirmed or suspected bowel cancer while 1691 had benign growths that had the potential to become cancerous.

The report found the participation rate for women was 38.5 percent and 33.6 percent for men, who had higher rates of screen-detected bowel cancers.

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