Cancer screening saves lives

AROUND half of eligible Australians are failing to be screened for bowel, breast and cervical cancer.

Department of Health and Ageing statistics show that only 55 per cent of women are undergoing breast screens and just 57% are having tests for cervical cancer.

While only 40% of Australians taking part in the Bowel Cancer Screening kit program.

Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service acting executive director of medical services Dr Peter Gillies said this is despite researchers estimating 20-30 lives per week could be saved by a higher take-up rate throughout Queensland.

"Cancer screening is the best way of finding cancers early before they can be felt or seen.

A recent Breast Screen Victoria study of those who had never or only rarely had a screening found 78% thought it was worthwhile but simply kept putting it off.

BreastScreen Queensland Toowoomba Service health promotion officer Jessica Hobbs said one in eight women will develop breast cancer at some point in their life.

"Ninety per cent of women who develop breast cancer will in fact have no family history. It's a free service and it only takes ten minutes.

"Women who are screened for breast cancer have experienced a 25-35% decrease in mortality compared to those who are not screened," she said.

For more information visit the websites below or talk to their GP.

Topics:  bowel cancer breast cancer cancer cancer screening cervical cancer

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