Treatment standard for colonoscopy launched

A nationally agreed standard of care for patients undergoing colonoscopy has been launched by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care to ensure the safe and appropriate use of colonoscopy and maximise patients’ likelihood of benefit from the procedure while reducing their risk of avoidable harm. The Colonoscopy Clinical Care Standard offers guidance to patients, clinicians and health services at each stage of a colonoscopy, focusing on initial assessment and referral, appropriate and timely colonoscopy, informed decision making and consent, bowel preparation, sedation, the procedure, discharge and reporting, and follow up. Endorsed by 10 professional bodies, including the Gastroenterological Society of Australia, the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and the Colorectal Surgical Society of Australia and New Zealand, the Standard and fact­ sheets are available via the Commission’s website (­work/clinical-­care-­standards/colonoscopy­-clinical-­care-­standard/)

Childhood cancer stage at diagnosis data released

For 12 of the 16 most common childhood cancers, most cases were diagnosed at a limited stage, before they spread to other parts of the body, ranging from 63% of cases for medulloblastoma and other CNS embryonal tumours to 95% of cases for retinoblastoma. In addition, 12 of the cancer types monitored had higher five­year observed survival rates that those diagnosed at an advanced stage. These are some of the findings in Cancer Australia’s initial national data on childhood cancer stage at diagnosis. The data, collected through collaboration between Cancer Australia and the Cancer Council Queen­ sland and with involvement of all state and territory population­based cancer registries, covers the 16 most common childhood cancers diagnosed from 2006 to 2010 in children aged 0 to 14 years, representing about 75% of all childhood cancers diagnosed in Australia. According to Cancer Australia, knowledge of the distribution of stage at diagnosis and outcomes by stage will improve understanding of variations in survival and help to inform where best to invest cancer control efforts. View the data via the National Cancer Control Indicators website (