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The National Bowel Cancer Screening Program

Bowel cancer

Bowel cancer is one of Australia’s most common cancers. Bowel cancer is one of the few cancers that can be detected in its pre-cancerous stage, and if found early, chances of survival are good. Often bowel cancer has no clear signs or symptoms until it has reached an advanced stage. By then, the chances of survival are much lower.

A simple screening test can help find bowel changes early. Bowel screening can make a big difference to the chances of surviving bowel cancer.

The National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP)

The NBCSP offers free bowel screening to Australians aged 50 to 74.

Screening kits are mailed out to eligible people to complete in their own home.

Bowel Screening and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are less likely to get bowel cancer than other Australians, but have a lower chance of surviving five years.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have considerably lower participation rates in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program.

The bowel screening test

A simple bowel screening test can pick up tiny amounts of blood in the bowel motion (poo) which may be a sign that a cancer is developing in the bowel.

The screening test is sent in the mail and is available to all eligible Australians aged 50 to 74 by the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program.