TV and sport icons urge Australians to take bowel cancer screening test

Iconic actor Lynne McGranger and AFL legend Leigh Matthews are urging Australians over 50 to Get2it and take a free screening test for bowel cancer.

The Hon Mark Butler MP
Minister for Health and Aged Care

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Iconic actor Lynne McGranger and AFL legend Leigh Matthews are urging Australians over 50 to Get2it and take a free screening test for bowel cancer.

Ms McGranger gained international fame through her 30-year long role in Home and Away, while Matthews is a former AFL star and Hall of Fame alumni.

The pair, who have recently completed their bowel screening tests, added their voices to the campaign by the Australian Government and Cancer Council Australia encouraging eligible people to test themselves for early signs of bowel cancer.

Ms McGranger said she realised the importance of good health when she turned 50.

“Like many others, I delayed taking the national bowel cancer screening test.

“I took it for the first time last year, and it was such a weight off my shoulders to know I’d done something so easy to contribute positively to my health. My only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner. There are still so many milestones I want to enjoy – taking the test is one way to make sure I don’t miss any of them, like my daughter’s wedding this week.”

Leigh Matthews said life after footy had shown him the importance of keeping fit and healthy.

“Some of my biggest life moments have happened off the footy field. That’s why I make it a priority to do the bowel screening test every two years and encourage my mates to do the same.

“If you’ve been sent your bowel screening test, don’t delay it! It only takes about two minutes, and it could save your life, and keep you around for those moments you don’t want to miss.”

The Australian Government offers free screening kits to more than 6 million Australians each year through the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program. But only four in 10 of these complete the test.

Despite this low participation rate, in a recent survey conducted for the Australian Government and Cancer Council, nine out of 10 people, aged 50 years or older in the survey said they took their health seriously, and four out of five knew that bowel cancer is one of the top three cancers leading to death in Australia.

Almost one quarter of the survey respondents (23 per cent) said they were much more likely to prioritise their health leading up to a milestone in their lives.

The National Bowel Screening Program test is quick and hygienic and can be completed at home and returned in the post. Read more information.

Quotes attributable to Minister Butler:

“Lynne and Leigh represent two very beloved Australian institutions, Home and Away and the AFL. I’m thrilled to have them working with us to encourage all eligible Australians to do their bowel screening.

“Raising the participation rate to 60 per cent would save 84,000 lives by 2040.

“I encourage everyone aged 50 to 74 to do their screening too.

“Please put the test somewhere visible like the bathroom as a reminder. Doing the test as soon as you get it could save your life."

Quotes attributable to Cancer Council Australia CEO, Professor Tanya Buchanan:

"We want Australians to continue to enjoy life to the fullest after they turn 50. 

“Staying on top of preventative health screening, including bowel screening, is one of the best ways to be able to enjoy the special milestone moments life has to offer.” 

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