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Bowel cancer

Bowel cancer – a simple home test could save your life

Are you or someone you love aged 50-74? Then you or your loved one is at higher risk of bowel cancer.

Tragically, bowel cancer claims the lives of around 100 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.

How the test works

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. 


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.

Generally, your first kit will arrive within the first six months of your 50th birthday and then every two years after that.

Visit the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program website to find out when you will receive your test, or call the National Cancer Screening Register on 1800 627 701.

Early detection is crucial

Bowel cancer kills around 100 Australians every week. Symptoms often appear too late. If you're aged 50-74, 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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