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As part of its 2024-25 Budget, the Commonwealth Government announced key changes to the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP), reducing the age of eligibility from 50 to 45 years.

Since its inception in 2006, the Program has been instrumental in enhancing early-stage detection and intervention, contributing to a 40% in mortality rates. The recent expansion to include younger age groups underscores this success and marks a crucial preventive measure for bowel cancer, which remains the second leading cause of cancer-related death in Australia.

Led by Professor Paul McMurrick – the Alan, Ada, and Eva Selwyn Endowed Chair for Colorectal Cancer Research – Cabrini has played a pivotal role in advocating for these changes. This involved key submissions to an independent review of the Program in 2022, noting a need to revise certain clinical recommendations. Amongst these was lowering the age of eligibility, particularly for Indigenous Australians to 40 years, with last month’s amendments a response to those calls.