If you have received a Bowel Cancer Screening Kit at home, we encourage you to use it.
The National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP) invites people starting at age 50 and continuing to age 74 (without symptoms) to screen for bowel cancer using a free, easy to use test at home.
Australia has one of the highest rates of bowel cancer in the world. Around one in 23 Australians will develop bowel cancer during their lifetime. Your doctor will also be able to help with any questions you may have about using the kit.
How to use the Bowel Cancer Screening Kit
This short video demonstrates how to use the kit in your home.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is at risk of bowel cancer?
Both men and women are at risk of developing bowel cancer.
The risk is greater if you:
- are aged 50 years and over – your risk increases with age;
- have had an inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn disease or ulcerative colitis;
- have previously had special types of polyps, called adenomas, in the bowel; or
- have a significant family history of bowel cancer or polyps.
Anyone, including younger people, with concerns about their risk of developing bowel cancer should talk to their doctor.
Are there any restrictions on when samples can be collected?
Yes. Samples cannot be collected if:
it is during or within three days either side of a menstrual period.
you have haemorroids (piles) that are bleeding
blood is present in the urine or visible in the toilet bowl – if this is the case contact your doctor.
What if I have an existing bowel condition, or I have been tested for bowel cancer in another process?
- have had a bowel condition in the last 12 months which is currently under treatment; or
- have had a recent colonoscopy (anytime in the last 5 years); or
- are scheduled for a colonoscopy in the next few weeks;
then you may wish to discuss your participation in the screening program with your doctor. Please advise the Program Information Line (1800 118 868) if your doctor recommends that you do not need to participate in the program.
If you have had bowel surgery, you should discuss with your doctor your need to screen. Screening checks the health of your colon. If you have a functioning colon you should continue with bowel screening. People with no functioning colon do not need to be screened.
Need more information?
For more detailed information about the kit, speak with your GP, or explore the links below: