Australia commenced an organised population screening program for colorectal (bowel) cancer in 2006. Indicators of the performance of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP), include the elapsed time between a positive screening test and a follow-up diagnostic assessment.1 Following a positive screen, further diagnostic evaluation should occur in a timely fashion, thus minimising potential for harm from delayed diagnosis and treatment.2 This indicator should not be considered a hospital wait time indicator, as there are various steps, decisions and wait times in the pathway between a positive screen and a diagnostic assessment.
22 Nov, 2017
In 2015, median times between a positive screen for colorectal cancer and diagnostic assessment were longer for Indigenous persons (64 days) than for non-Indigenous persons (52 days).
In 2015, median times between a positive screen for colorectal cancer and diagnostic assessment were longer in Remote (64 days) and Very Remote (60 days) areas compared to Major Cities (50 days).
Between 2007 and 2015, median times from a positive screen for colorectal cancer to clinical assessment have varied between 52 and 57 days.
In 2015, median times between a positive screen for colorectal cancer and diagnostic assessment were 60 days in the lowest socioeconomic status areas and 48 days in highest socioeconomic status areas.