Treatments and tests

Bowel cancer screening

What is bowel cancer screening?

The National Bowel Cancer Screening Program will send every Australian a free bowel screening test (external site) when they turn 50. 

Currently you will also receive a kit at age 55, 60, 64 65, 70, 72 and 74 – with the program expanding in future years to test Australians every two years between the ages of 50 and 74.

The kit is easy, quick and done in the privacy of your own home and will help in the early detection of bowel cancer.

If you receive your kit in the mail, it is important that you complete and return it.

The program is based on testing Australians who have no symptoms of bowel cancer.

Benefit of bowel cancer screening

If bowel cancer is detected early, up to 90 per cent can be successfully treated.

Visit your GP if you have:

  • bleeding
  • pain
  • changes in bowel habits for more than four weeks
  • unexplained tiredness or rapid weight loss.

WA Cancer & Palliative Care Network

This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

See also