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Advocacy: Get behind bowel screening - why we need you to send a letter your local Federal MP

April 2012

On March 13, the latest phase of our Get Behind Bowel Screening campaign and our new advertisement were officially launched in Canberra.

During the exciting launch at Parliament House, Independent MPs Tony Windsor, Rob Oakeshott and Andrew Wilkie spoke out in support of the campaign, and of Cancer Council's pre-budget submission which is asking for the expansion of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program.

They know, as we do, bowel cancer is Australia's second biggest cancer killer.

It takes the lives of more than 4000 men and women every year – the majority of whom are aged 50 and older. In Victoria in 2010, 1330 people died  – more than a quarter of the national total.

That's why organisations including Cancer Council Victoria are asking for a screening program for all Australians aged 50+, every two years.

Especially since screening with a simple test called a Faecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) is one of the best ways to detect early-stage bowel cancer.

Finding bowel cancer in the early stages is vital because 90% of all bowel cancers are curable if found early – if it's not detected until a later stage, the survival rate of those diagnosed plummets.

Though there is a current National Bowel Cancer Screening Program, it sends one-off, free bowel cancer screening tests to men and women aged 50, 55 and 65.

Because the National Program caters only to these three age groups – men and women are missing out on this life-saving screening.

As part of our campaign we're asking our supporters, including Cut Your Cancer Risk readers, to write to their Federal MP and demand a fully-funded National Bowel Cancer Screening Program. You can also Facebook and Twitter if your MP has accounts.

Visit http://www.getbehindbowelscreening.com.au/ and follow the links to write to your local Federal MP to show them you are a passionate supporter of bowel cancer screening.

Say "I'm Behind It" because screening saves lives.

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