Screening for colorectal cancer: virtually there

Finlay A Macrae
Med J Aust 2005; 182 (2): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2005.tb06573.x
Published online: 17 January 2005

A national rollout of faecal occult-blood screening, federally funded, is the best approach

Bowel cancer is Australia’s commonest internal cancer.1 There is indisputable evidence that population screening with faecal occult-blood testing (FOBT), allowing early detection of cancer and detection and removal of the precursor adenomatous polyp, could save close to 2000 lives each year.2 The federal government is to be commended on its orderly approach to the issue through the Bowel Cancer Screening Pilot Programme ( It is important that this commitment to colorectal cancer screening continues, given also its clear cost-effectiveness.3-6

  • Finlay A Macrae

  • Colorectal Medicine and Genetics, The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, VIC.


Competing interests:

Member of the Medical Advisory Board of Enterix Australia, 2001–2003; and Member, Monitoring and Evaluation Committee, Bowel Cancer Screening Pilot Programme, Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.


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