Participation by the target population in colorectal screening is an important aspect of the prevention and early detection of colorectal cancer. Australia commenced an organised program of colorectal (bowel) cancer population screening in 2006. Indicators of the performance of this program, the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP), include the proportion of the eligible population who were invited and who returned a completed a faecal occult blood test (FOBT) kit for analysis.1, 2 A high participation rate is necessary for the NBCSP to achieve its major objective of reducing colorectal cancer incidence, morbidity and mortality.1, 2
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In 2017-2018, 42.4% of the eligible population participated in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program in response to an invitation to screen.
In 2016–2017, the colorectal cancer screening participation rate among eligible persons living in Very Remote areas was 27.5%.
In 2017-2018, the colorectal cancer screening participation rate was lower among males (40.2%) than among females (44.5%).
From 2012-2013 to 2017-2018, the colorectal cancer screening participation rate increased from 36.1% to 42.4%.