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Crunch time comes for bowel cancer.



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MEDIA RELEASE Minister for Health and Ageing

Tony Abbott MHR

1 June 2007 ABB063/07

Crunch time comes for bowel cancer

The Commonwealth Government has announced funding of $500,000 to help promote awareness of the prevention and early detection of bowel cancer.

Today’s announcement marks the beginning of Bowel Cancer Awareness Week 2007, with the theme “Don’t die of embarrassment - talk to your doctor today”.

The funding will go to the Bowel Cancer and Digestive Research Institute in Sydney to improve understanding of bowel cancer and support participation in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program.

Bowel cancer is the most common cancer in Australia after non-melanoma skin cancer, with around 90 people dying every week from the disease. Many of these deaths could have been prevented if the disease had been detected and treated in its early stages.

This funding to the Bowel Cancer and Digestive Research Institute will be used to encourage people to participate in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program.

The institute’s message is simple: bowel cancer is the most curable of cancers if detected early. As with Pap smears and breast cancer screening, lives can be saved through early detection.

The Government has provided $43.4 million to begin a National Bowel Cancer Screening program. This first phase of the program runs from August 2006 to June 2008. During this time, screening invitations will be sent to Australians who turn 55 or 65 between 1 May 2006 and 30 June 2008.

For more information call Mr Abbott's office on ph 02 6277 7220.