Bowel cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in Australia. Around 80 Australians die each week from the disease. Early detection and removal of precancerous abnormalities have saved more than 11,000 lives since National Bowel Cancer Screening was introduced in 2006.

Bowel cancer - clinical updateCompelling data from randomised controlled trials supports screening for bowel cancer. In addition, advances in the genetic basis of the inherited predisposition to bowel cancer has lead to the availability of predictive genetic testing.

These developments have been recognised by the Australian Health Technology & Advisory Committee (AHTAC), advising the Federal Minister of Health. The Digestive Health Foundation (DHF) supports the recommendations of the AHTAC Committee and has prepared this booklet to assist clinicians and health professionals.

The third edition (2006, reprinted 2011) builds on the work originally published by the Australian Gastroenterology Institute  and the Australian Cancer Society in 1994. This document was supported and sponsored by the Gastroenterological Society of Australia.

Specific recommendations are based on relevant published information and will be updated periodically as new information becomes available, particularly with respect to improved faecal occult blood detection techniques and the benefits of endoscopic screening. This information is due to be revised in 2013/2014.

Clinical Update

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