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Bowel (or colorectal) cancer causes the second highest number of cancer deaths in Australia after lung cancer. However, around 90% of bowel cancer cases are cured if detected early.

Cancer Council Australia recommends that Australians aged 50 and over complete a faecal occult blood test (FOBT) every two years. FOBT is the most effective population screening tool for detecting early signs of bowel cancer.

The National Bowel Screening Program, using FOBT, is offered free to all Australians aged 50-74 every two years. For more information, visit

For more program information, call the government Information Line on 1800 118 868 (9am - 5pm across Australia) or visit

Not yet eligible for the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program?

If you are not yet eligible for the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program but  have symptoms, a family history or are concerned about bowel cancer, speak to your GP about your options.

For more information on bowel cancer screening, call Cancer Council 13 11 20 or check our National Cancer Prevention Policy.

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