State offers free cancer tests


digestive systemAUSTRALIA - Queensland is the first state to provide its citizens with free bowel cancer tests, the state Government says.


The Queensland Government says the tests will be provided under a new National Bowel Cancer Screening Program, which will be rolled out across the country over the next few years.

State Health Minister Stephen Robertson said today that people over the age of 50 were most at risk, and that more than 200,000 Queenslanders in that age group would be invited to have a free test before June 2008.

"Not only is Queensland the first state to kick off the new program but we're also the only state to have committed funds specifically dedicated to support the statewide roll-out of the program," Mr Robertson said.

The Queensland Government will spend $10.4 million on the program over the next two years.

Residents in Mackay, in central Queensland, have already started participating in the program, with Brisbane jumping on board later this week.

Invitations will be sent to other regional areas between southeast Queensland and Cape York in the next five months.

"It is crucial that the screening program is introduced slowly so we can ensure that services, such as colonoscopies, are able to meet increased demand, particularly in regional areas," Mr Robertson said.

"I encourage everyone who is invited for a test to take the time to carry it out, particularly men who can have the tendency to ignore their health."

source - The Australian News 


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