By Oliver Lees
More Macedon Ranges residents are participating in bowel cancer screenings than ever before, according to latest data.
The figures released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) show that 50.9 per cent of eligible residents in the Macedon Ranges participated in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program conducted by the Cancer Council in 2018-19.
Participation has grown by four per cent since 2016-17, when 46.7 per cent of eligible residents took part in screening.
The program delivers at-home screening kits to the homes of Australians aged between 50 to 74 every two years.
The Macedon Ranges registered the fifth highest participation rate of any region in the state.
Cancer Council Victoria chief executive Todd Harper said these screenings can assist in detecting cancer before symptoms arise.
“Locals in [the] Macedon Ranges who have completed their bowel screening test deserve a pat on the back and we would encourage everyone to talk to their friends and family,” Mr Harper said.
“Bowel cancer is Australia’s second biggest cancer killer… talking about poo isn’t taboo when it could save your life.
“The AIHW data shows that while participation has increased it still equates to only 4 in 10 completing their bowel screening test when it was sent to them in the mail.”
The National Bowel Cancer Screening Program is free and participants will receive results in two weeks.
For more information, contact the National Screening Register: 1800 627 701.