Early detection saves lives

Detected early, more than 90% of bowel cancers can be successfully treated.

We recommend all Australians aged 50 and over take a home test, known as a faecal occult blood test (FOBT) every two years. This simple test will be mailed to you as part of the Australian Government's National Bowel Cancer Screening Program.

How the faecal occult blood test works

The home test looks for traces of blood in a bowel motion.

It involves taking samples from two bowel motions using a test kit. These are analysed at a pathology laboratory. If blood is detected, your doctor is likely to refer you for a colonoscopy.

Most positive tests are not the result of cancer. However, if cancer is detected early through the program, the chances of it being successfully treated are high. Read more

Learn more about the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program

When will I receive a test?

To find out when you will receive a test, visit the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program website.

What if I have symptoms?

The home screening test is only suitable for people without symptoms.

If you are younger than 50 and concerned about bowel cancer, if you have a family history of bowel cancer, or if you have any symptoms please talk to your doctor or call Cancer Council 13 11 20.