World first bowel cancer screening program

A cost-effective screening test for bowel cancer

Flinders researchers, led by Professor Graeme Young, developed a fast, accurate and cost-effective screening test for bowel cancer which facilitated the world-first Australian National Bowel Cancer Screening Program.

It has since become a model for bowel cancer screening processes the world over. Bowel cancer is our nation’s second biggest cancer killer, killing 80 Australians every week. Survival after diagnosis is largely dependent upon early detection.

When discovered early, people are often given a 95 per cent survival rate.

These major innovations facilitated the world-first Australian National Bowel Cancer Screening Program, which launched in 2006 and continues today. Dubbed the 'poo-in-the-post-test', the test has also broken down barriers to early diagnosis, as it can be performed in the privacy of one’s own home and conveniently mailed away for lab analysis.

Costing just AU$10 per test, the program has already shown significant results. Within the first five years of its implementation, bowel cancers in South Australia were already twice as likely to be diagnosed at an early, curable stage, saving hundreds of lives and reducing pressure on Australian health and hospital systems.

Read the full version of this article by Flinders University here.

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