Published on June 9, 2010 at 11:06 PM
The cost of the kit may act as a deterrent for many he said. Thus the foundation is urging the government to provide funds for supplying free test kits at least once every two years for all Australians aged over 50. At present the test is available as a one-off test for people turning 50, 55 and 65, leaving a gap in screening for around five million people, Mr. Wiggins said. The extension of the screening program to all over 50 every two years will cost $131 million in the fist year, which would increase to $170 million, he said, but added that it could prevent as many as 2000 deaths a year. “Lives will only be saved with the full implementation of the program,” he said.
The Cancer Council has also revealed figures showing annual bowel cancer treatment costs will have increased to $1 billion across 10 years by 2011. The costs thus will have increased four-fold making the expansion of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program important. The council is urging both the ruling and opposition parties to make a pre-election commitment to make bowel cancer screening free for all Australians over 50.