People with digestive health problems will have better access to diagnosis, through a new service being made available to patients at President Private Hospital, Kirrawee.
The hospital has launched a new community service that enables patients to directly book into endoscopy examinations. The aim is to provide a faster turnaround. Patients need a GP referral and can bypass the waiting time to see a specialist, avoiding also fees.
A patient can be seen on the day of procedure, and be provided with results immediately after.
President Private Hospital performs more than 2500 endoscopic procedures a year. Procedures include colonoscopies and gastroscopies.
It comes at a time when research reveals that bowel cancer remains one of Australia's most deadly cancers, but also one of the most treatable with early intervention and screening.
A campaign was also launched in July to boost low bowel screening participation rates across St George and Sutherland Shire. It hopes to save hundreds of lives in the region.
The campaign promotes Australia's National Bowel Cancer Screening Program and urges more people in the community to do to free life-saving test.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows that participation rates in the program in the area, is only at 35.1 per cent.
Community Programs Coordinator for Cancer Council's Southern Sydney community, Angelina Belluomo, says the program promises to be one of the most important cancer control initiatives in Australian history - but more residents need to take part.
"Bowel cancer is Australia's second biggest cancer killer," she said. "Many people don't realise it kills more Australians each year than breast, prostate or skin cancer. This is a scary statistic, but the good news is that over 90 per cent of bowel cancer cases can be cured if detected early. So, if you're aged 50-74 when the test arrives in the mail don't put it in the cupboard and forget about it - delaying can easily become ignoring, forgetting and ultimately not doing."
"The test is quick, simple and you can complete it in the comfort of your own home. We know that after doing the test, 78 per cent of people go on to repeat the test when next invited. All residents have a part to play in raising our participation rates and the bowel cancer screening test detects blood in poo, which can be a sign of pre-cancerous lesions and cancers in the early stages and often these don't have any symptoms.
In 2019, people aged 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60, 62, 64, 66, 68, 70, 72 and 74 will be sent the free test in the mail.
From next year, free bowel screening kits will be sent on a two-yearly basis to all eligible Australians aged 50 to 74.