Sheldon backs bowel cancer initiative

Union boss sides with Cancer Council and independent MPs in calling for extension of bowel cancer screening

March 13, 2012

The Transport Workers Union (TWU) has thrown its support behind a proposal from the Cancer Council and independent MPs for bowel cancer screening to be extended.

TWU National Secretary Tony Sheldon says the initiative to extend screening among older Australians has the union’s full support because of its particular relevance to the transport sector.

Sheldon says bowel cancer kills an estimated 4000 Australians each year and is most common in older males.

"As an organisation whose membership is more [than] 97 percent male with an average age of 49, any proposed extension of the screening program is to be welcomed," he says.

"On behalf of the 90,000 members of the Transport Workers Union, I fully support the call by the Cancer Council of Australia and independent MPs Rob Oakeshott, Tony Windsor and Andrew Wilkie for an immediate extension of bowel cancer screening."

An extension is estimated to cost $15 million, but Sheldon says it pales in comparison to the $1 billion cost of treating bowel cancer in Australia each year. He says more screening will save more lives.

"I would call on the Federal Government to get behind this initiative from the Cancer Council and Independent MPs," Sheldon says.

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