This year Let’s Beat Bowel Cancer is launching FOBruary, a health promotion campaign aimed at reducing the number of deaths caused by bowel cancer.
FOBruary calls on all Australians over the age of 50 to have an annual FOB Test (Faecal Occult Blood Test) during the month of February to screen for bowel cancer – Australia’s second biggest cancer killer.
Each year almost 5000 Australians die from bowel cancer despite research indicating that 9 out of 10 bowel cancers are curable, if detected early.
Bowel cancer often has no obvious signs until it reaches advanced stages – if more Australians had an annual at-home FOB Test there is a greater chance of early detection and fewer deaths.
What can pharmacists do to help?
During the month of February all pharmacists and their staff are urged to encourage those over the age of 50
to have a FOB Test to screen for bowel cancer.
Many Australians are unaware the test is easy, non-invasive and can be done in the privacy of their own home.
Currently, the Federal Government funded National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP) invites one-off participation from people turning 50, 55 and 65 – this approach excludes about 5.4 million Australians.
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