Bowel cancer - a simple home test could save your life

Are you or someone you love aged 50 or over? Then you or your loved one is at higher risk of bowel cancer. Tragically, bowel cancer claims the lives of 80 Australians every week. But it doesn't have to.

If you're aged between 50 and 74 and receive the home screening test in the mail, do it. It could save your life.

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How does the home test work?

How does the home test work?

The simple, free screening test can be completed at home. The test looks for traces of blood in a bowel motion.

It involves taking samples from two bowel motions using a test kit.

Cancer Council Victoria recommends that men and women aged between 50 and 74 with no symptoms screen using the home test every two years.

If you have symptoms or a strong family history, or if you are concerned about your risk of bowel cancer speak to your doctor or contact Cancer Council Victoria on 13 11 20.

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Am I eligible for a free test?

Am I eligible for a free test?

Australians aged between 50 and 74 receive a free home screening kit in the mail as part of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program.

Simply follow the instructions and post the completed test in the envelope provided.

Currently, Australians aged 50, 54, 55, 58, 60, 64, 68, 70, 72 and 74 are eligible for the free home test through the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program.

Generally, kits arrive within six months of your birthday.

Visit the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program website to find out when you will receive your test, or call the Screening Program Infoline on 1800 118 868

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What if I am not eligible?

If I am not eligible, can I still have a test?

If you are aged between 50 and 74 and unsure if you're eligible for the program, we recommend you contact the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program on 1800 118 868.

Your eligibility for a free kit can be checked – if you are eligible a kit will be sent to your home.

If you are aged below 50 and above 74 and have symptoms or a strong family history of bowel cancer, or if you are concerned about your risk, speak to your doctor or contact Cancer Council Victoria on 13 11 20. 

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Why screen for bowel cancer?

Why screen for bowel cancer?

Bowel cancer kills 80 Australians every week. Symptoms often appear too late. If you're over 50 you're at a higher risk.

Bowel cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, is the second biggest cause of cancer death in Australia.

Find out more about bowel cancer.

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