Bowel Cancer Screening
National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP)
The National Bowel Cancer Screening Program is currently being implemented nationally to help detect bowel cancer early and reduce the number of Australians who die each year from the disease.
As of 01 July 2008, all Australians turning 50, 55 or 65 years of age between 2008 and 2010 will be invited to participate in screening for bowel cancer.
Under the Program, eligible people will be sent a bowel cancer screening kit by mail containing a Faecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT), a simple test that can be completed in the privacy of your own home.
The test is quick and easy and involves taking a small sample from two bowel motions which you then send to the laboratory for testing.
Participants then receive their results in the mail. If the test result is positive (ie. blood is found in the bowel motion), participants are advised to contact their GP for follow up, such as colonoscopy.
If the result is negative (ie. no blood is found in the bowel motion), it may mean that you do not need further investigations at this time. However, as no test is 100% accurate, it is important to watch out for any symptoms of bowel cancer (eg. bleeding from the bowel, changes in your regular bowel habits, abdominal pain, and unexplained tiredness etc) and if noticed, see your doctor immediately.