Queensland bowel cancer hotspots revealed
JIMBOOMBA, Darling Downs and Burnett residents are 30 per cent more likely than other Australians to be diagnosed with bowel cancer, disturbing data reveals.
Regional areas across the country have higher rates than the national average of contracting the deadly disease, but it is more prevalent in those three regions than anywhere else in Queensland.
The data also showed eastern inner-city Brisbane, including Bulimba, East Brisbane, Norman Park and Seven Hills, had the lowest rate of bowel cancer.
It has prompted the Federal Government to today launch a $10 million TV, radio, social media and GP blitz, which is the largest national advertising campaign targeting a single cancer.
Bowel cancer is the third most common cancer in Australia, but the second most common cause of cancer-related death.
Cancer Council of Australia CEO Sanchia Aranda said regional areas tended to have a higher prevalence of risk factors, such as obesity and diets low in fibre and vegetables and high in alcohol.
"Getting enough fibre in your diet is the number one thing you can do to lower your risk, other than having a healthy weight," she said.
Health Minister Greg Hunt said more than half of the Australians sent a free bowel cancer test kit by the Government threw it out and the massive campaign was intended to turn that around.
"Research shows that 90 per cent of bowel cancers can be successfully treated through early detection, reducing the number of family, friends and loved ones who die each year from the disease," Mr Hunt said.
It is estimated that if participation in the test is raised from 41 per cent to 60 per cent, it would save 83,000 lives by 2040.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare's cancer database reveals, on average, 60 people per 100,000 Australians contract bowel cancer.
This rises to 80/100,000 in Jimboomba, 75/100,000 in Darling Downs and 74/100,000 in Burnett.
Eastern inner-city Brisbane had just 41 cases per 100,000 people.
There are 17,000 people diagnosed each year.
Bowel cancer test kits will be sent to all Australians aged 50 to 74 before the end of the year.