Bowel cancer screening program
Bowel cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in Australia and around 80 Australians die each week from the disease. Research shows that the risk of developing bowel cancer rises significantly from the age of 50. Bowel cancer can be treated successfully if detected in its early stages, but currently fewer than 40 per cent of bowel cancers are detected early.
The National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (the Program) offers testing to people turning 50 years of age between January 2008 and December 2010 and those turning 55 or 65 years of age between July 2008 and December 2010, who hold a Medicare card or a DVA gold card.
Who can use this service?
People who are within the eligible population will be invited to take part in the program.
The eligible population is Australians turning 50 years of age between January 2008 and December 2010 and those turning 55 or 65 between July 2008 and December 2010, who hold a Medicare card or DVA gold card.
If you are eligible, a pre-invitation letter followed by an invitation package, including an Faecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) kit, will be sent by mail between July 2008 and December 2010. A simple FOBT test is then completed in the privacy of your own home and mailed to a pathology laboratory for analysis. There is no cost involved in completing the FOBT. These screening tests are simple to use and highly effective.
Participants with a positive FOBT result will be advised to discuss the result with their doctor, who will generally refer them for further investigations, usually a colonoscopy.
What if I need more information?
Use the Click to access button below for further information about participating in the program; or call the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program Information Line on 1800 118 868.
For enquiries about how to complete the FOBT kit, call the FOBT helpline on 1300 738 365.