8 June 2023

Cape residents urged to fight deadly killer with easy at home test

| Sarah Martin
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Erub resident Trevor Tim is urging fellow Cape residents to take the free at home bowel cancer screening test.

Trevor Tim is urging Cape and Torres Strait residents to take the free at-home bowel cancer screening test.

ERUB Islander Trevor Tim is urging Cape York and Torres Strait residents to be “21st century warriors” in fighting Australia’s second biggest cancer killer.

Mr Tim is the face of a new campaign urging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to complete free, at-home bowel cancer screening tests every two years.

“We’re talking about leading the way for our people, we need to close the gap and we need our mob to be living longer,” Mr Tim said.

“By you doing the test and looking after yourself, your younger brothers, and cousins can see what you’re doing and act on that, and you become a true leader – a warrior of the 21st century.”

Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service public health medical officer Dr Allison Hempenstall said many bowel cancer deaths were preventable if caught early, such as by the free at-home testing kits.

“Participation rates in our region are significantly lower than the Queensland average at only about 19.6 per cent,” Dr Hempenstall said.

“It takes just a few minutes to do the test and mail it away and it could save your life.”

Dr Hempenstall said anyone who received a kit and wanted assistance was welcome to go to their local healthcare centre for more information on completing the test, and people could also ask staff about their results.

“Our staff can explain if the results are positive or negative,” she said.

“If positive we can organise for them to have their colonoscopy at Thursday Island or Cairns or assist them to travel to Cairns for the procedure.”

The free test kits are sent to people at the address registered on their Medicare card once they turn 50.

Anyone who hasn’t received a kit can contact the National Cancer Screening Register at www.ncsr.gov.au or by phone on 1800 627 701.

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