Bowel cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer. Australia has one of the highest incidences of bowel cancer in the world.
How bowel cancer screening works
The National Bowel Cancer Screening Program offers free bowel screening to Australian men and women aged 50 to 74 years.
A screening test known as a 'Faecal Occult Blood Test' is used to collect samples of bowel motions (poo), which are then analysed to detect tiny traces of blood that are invisible to the naked eye.
The screening test cannot diagnose bowel cancer. A positive result indicates that a further test, usually a colonoscopy, is needed to rule out bowel cancer. Your doctor will talk to you about the best way to do this for your circumstances.
If you have any symptoms such as blood in your poo, or have a family history of bowel cancer, you should speak with your GP promptly.