About the Bowel Cancer Screening Pilot
The Bowel Cancer Screening Pilot Program to test the feasibility, acceptability and cost effectiveness of bowel cancer screening in the Australian community ran between November 2002 and June 2004 at three sites: parts of Melbourne and Adelaide and in Mackay, Queensland. The Final Evaluation Report of the Bowel Cancer Screening Pilot Program showed that a national bowel cancer screening program would be feasible, acceptable and cost effective in Australia. The Final Evaluation was supported by a series of studies examining a range of Pilot activities. The full reports can be accessed in the Program Resources Section.
A total of 56,907 men and women from Mackay, Adelaide and Melbourne were invited to participate in the pilot. The overall participation rate was 45.5%, which compares well with participation rates in other, longer-established screening programs. Participation in the Pilot was higher among women (47.4%) than men (43.4%). The major reasons stated for participating in the Pilot were precaution; prevention; early detection; health check important, and peace of mind.
The Pilot Program used two different brands of immunochemical FOBTs. Immunochemical FOBTs were selected as they have no potential for interference by diet or medication.
Of the 25,688 correctly completed FOBTs, 2,317 returned a positive result, giving an overall positivity rate for the Pilot of 9.0%, with a higher rate in men and amongst older participants.
The Program detected 176 advanced adenomas and 67 suspected cancers. However it should be noted that these figures were collected for the Evaluation Report prior to all the results being recorded by the Register and therefore the actual figures could be higher.
Page currency, Latest update: 12 December, 2007