Tragically, bowel cancer claims the lives of around 100 Australians every week. If you or one of your loved ones is aged 50 or over, you're at higher risk of bowel cancer.
The good news is that, if found early, 90% of bowel cancers can be successfully treated. This is why screening is so important.
If you're aged between 50 and 74, you will receive a free home testing kit from the Government. Do the test – it could save your life.
If you don't receive a kit, check this online calculator or call the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program Information Line on 1800 118 868 to see when you will.
The National Bowel Cancer Screening Program is currently expanding to introduce a two-yearly screening interval.
The following age groups are being invited to participate: 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60, 62, 64, 66, 68, 70, 72 and 74.
By 2020, all eligible people between 50 and 74 years of age will be offered free screening every two years. For more information, visit the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program website.
Don't worry, people who have been invited to participate in the Program can obtain up to two replacement kits.
To order a replacement kit, contact the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program Information Line on 1800 118 868. Have your participant number or Medicare number ready to speed up your call.
The upper age of 74 years is in keeping with the recommendations of the National Health and Medical Research Council approved guidelines which consider the effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and the overall balance of benefits to risk of harm associated with screening. However talk to your doctor if you're experiencing symptoms or are worried about your risk of developing bowel cancer.