National Bowel Cancer Screening Program

Keep healthy and strong. Complete a free bowel cancer screening test every 2 years once you turn 45. 

Testing for bowel cancer is simple, private and free.  

Bowel cancer can develop without any signs or symptoms. It’s important to know that screening can help with early detection and prevention. 

There are two ways to participate in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program:  

  • Complete the self-test kit at home. If your address is up to date with Medicare you will receive your free kit in the mail every two years. Your test will be sent to the address registered with Medicare.  
  • If you haven’t received your kit or have concerns about doing a bowel cancer screening test, talk to your health professional.  

The test is clean and easy to do. Your health professional can answer any questions about bowel screening. 

A health worker and a patient looking at a brochure.

When you receive your free test in the mail, it’s important to do it, even if you feel well. Often bowel cancer shows no symptoms, so it is important to do the test to stay healthy and strong. This simple test could save your life. 

Why you should do the test

Bowel cancer is one of the most common cancers impacting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the risk increases as you get older. 

Regular screening can help detect the early signs of bowel cancer. If found early over 90% of bowel cancers can be successfully treated. 

Keeping up to date with bowel screening is an important way to stay healthy and strong for you, your family, and community.   

How to do the test

Did you know screening for bowel cancer can be done in the privacy of your own home? The test kit comes with instructions on how to complete the test. 

How Do I Complete the Free Bowel Screening Test | Cancer Council

The test will look for traces of blood in your poo, which could be an early sign of bowel cancer or another health condition. 

If your result comes back positive, it is not a cancer diagnosis. There are lots of reasons you could have blood in your poo, and most of these are not related to cancer. Completing the screening test can help you to look after your wellbeing and stay healthy and strong. 

It’s important to see your local health professional as soon as possible or your doctor so they can discuss your result and get you the right information. 

How to order a new test

If you’re aged 50 to 74, you will receive your test in the mail every two years. If it expires or you lose it, you can reorder your test kit here

If you’re aged 45 to 49, you can request your first free kit by completing a webform or calling 1800 627 701.

Have a yarn with your health professional

Have a yarn with your GP or Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander health worker about making a bowel cancer screening test part of your regular check-up. They can give you information about how to do the test and can get the results for you. Everything you discuss with your doctor is private and confidential – they can’t share your information with anyone unless you ask them to. 

Talk to your GP or local Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander health worker about bowel cancer screening for you and your family.