Expansion of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program
Bowel cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in Australia, and around 80 Australians die each week from the disease. Bowel cancer can be treated successfully if detected in its early stages, but currently fewer than 40 per cent of bowel cancers are detected early.
One of the Federal government health projects is the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program. The current eligible population is Australians turning 50, 55 or 65 years of age between January 2011 and December 2014, who hold a Medicare card or DVA gold card. The program is being expanded to include Australians turning 60 years of age from 2013 and those turning 70 years of age from 2015.
Between 1 July 2012 and 31 December 2015 up to 4.8 million eligible Australians will be offered free bowel cancer screening which includes 1.2 million Australians aged 60 and 70 years.
The expansion of the program means that more than 12,000 suspected or confirmed cancers will be detected each year and between 300 and 500 lives saved annually. This will significantly reduce the burden of bowel cancer on Australians and their families.
Any Australians, including younger people, who have concerns about their risk of developing bowel cancer should discuss their health with their general practitioner.
For further information please go to the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program website.
Gastroenterology Services at Linacre Private Hospital
If you have a positive test under the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program your GP should refer you to a Specialist Medical Practitioner for further assessment and investigation.
All of the Gastroenterologists that practice at Linacre Private Hospital would be able to provide that further assessment and investigation.
These specialist Gastroenterologists also see patients referred by their GPs for a wide range of issues that may include
- Abdominal Pain
- Severe heartburn
- Persistent nausea and vomiting
- Difficulty swallowing
- Altered bowel habit ie Diarrhoea or Constipation
- Weight loss
- Positive faecal occult blood tests following screening eg, National Bowel Cancer Screening Program
- Family history of bowel cancer.
- Patients with stable oesophageal reflux who require screening for Barretts Oesophagus
- Assessment for Coeliac disease which will include a small bowel biopsy can also be undertaken
Some patients may then need to have investigations or treatment as either a day or overnight patient in hospital. Linacre Private Hospital offers many of these services including Gastroscopy, Colonoscopy, Blood Transfusion or Iron Transfusion.
If you would like to see a Gastroenterologist please have your GP refer you to one of our Gastroenterologists so that you can organise a consultation.