In the lead up to the election on March 11 we’re asking our next state government to invest in screening and early detection programs across WA.
Treatment is most effective when cancer is found at an early stage. In order to improve cancer outcomes in WA and increase survival rates we need to lift awareness of and participation in screening and early detection programs.
A state government investment in the distribution of these vital education programs will assist in increasing participation rates in screening and early detection programs and essentially save lives.
Which screening and early detection programs do we need government investment in?
Bowel cancer screening
Bowel cancer is the most common cancer for WA men and women and kills more people each year than breast or prostate cancer.
Incredibly, up to 90% of bowel cancers can be prevented if detected early – and screening helps us do exactly that. However, most screening kits are not being used – we desperately need to change this.
Often, bowel cancer develops without symptoms, this is why screening is our best hope of reducing the impact of bowel cancer in our community and ultimately saving lives.
For this reason, we’re calling on the next state government to increase investment in bowel cancer screening awareness and recruitment to encourage all WA men and women over 50 to participate in screening every two years. An initial investment of $500k per annum for 4 years is a strong start.
Find Cancer Early Program
Our Find Cancer Early campaign seeks to reduce the poorer cancer outcomes experienced by WA’s rural and regional cancer patients in comparison to those in the city. It does so by promoting the early detection and reporting of cancer symptoms in order to help people identify and act on potential cancer earlier.
The campaign works to increase symptom awareness amongst rural Australians and aims to break down some of the barriers and myths to seeking help.
In order to close the gap in cancer outcomes between rural and regional cancer patients and those that live in the city we are calling on the next state government to invest $200k per annum over 4 years to allow the Find Cancer Early education program to reach more regional West Australians.
How will investment from the government help cancer outcomes in WA?
Bowel cancer screening
Participation in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program in WA is currently well below 40 per cent. With a strong local investment, we believe this can be improved to 60 per cent participation in less than 8 years. The earlier bowel cancer is detected, the higher survival rates will be.
Find Cancer Early Campaign
Government investment in the distribution of the Find Cancer Early campaign will allow the education program to reach more people living in regional and rural WA. Increasing symptom awareness among these communities, promoting the importance of screening and early detection and breaking down barriers in seeking help is the key to closing the gap in cancer outcomes between rural and regional patients and those that live in the city.