National Bowel Cancer Screening Program

 

The National Bowel Cancer Screening Program is an Australian Government screening program.

Bowel cancer screening is designed to check for signs of bowel cancer in people who do not have any obvious symptoms, but are at higher risk of bowel cancer because they are in the 50-74 age group.

The program uses a faecal occult blood test (FOBT), a simple test that you can do at home. Read more about FOBTs.

Who is eligible for a free test?

In 2019, the free at home test will be sent to all Australians aged 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60, 62, 64, 66, 68, 70, 72 and 74.

From 2020, all eligible Australians aged 50-74 will be invited to screen every two years.

Check when you will next receive an FOBT.

How do I complete the test?

When eligible, you will be sent an invitation to screen from the Australian Government, which will include an FOBT kit. Simply follow the instructions and mail the completed test in the envelope provided.

For simplified instructions, see this pictorial brochure  or watch this video.

What happens if I receive a positive result?

If your test is positive, you and your nominated GP will be advised. If blood is detected, your doctor is likely to refer you for a colonoscopy.

Most positive test results do not turn out to be cancer. However, if cancer is detected early, there is higher chance of it being treated successfully.

I've lost my test, what shall I do?

Don't worry, people who have been invited to participate in the Program can obtain up to two replacement kits.

To order a replacement kit, contact the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program Information Line on 1800 118 868. Have your participant number or Medicare number ready to speed up your call.