Identifying and definitional attributes
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The National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP) began in 2006. It aims to reduce morbidity and mortality from bowel cancer by actively recruiting and screening the eligible target population for early detection or prevention of the disease. In 2014, the Australian Government announced that the program would be expanded to offer free 2-yearly screening for all Australians aged 50–74.
The target population list is compiled from those who were registered as an Australian citizen or migrant in the Medicare enrolment file, or were registered with a Department of Veterans’ Affairs gold card. A phased roll-out was used with different age groups being invited to screen across different years (as shown in the following table). Two-yearly screening (with all relevant age groups included) was fully rolled out from 1 January, 2019.
NBCSP phases and target populations
(a) Eligible birth dates, and thus invitations, ended on 31 December 2010.
(b) Ongoing NBCSP funding commenced.
Note: The eligible population for all Phase 2 and 3 start dates incorporates all those turning the target ages from 1 January of that year onwards.
Eligible Australians are sent an invitation to complete a free immunochemical faecal occult blood test (iFOBT) in the privacy of their own home and mail it to a pathology laboratory for analysis. Participants with a positive iFOBT result will be advised to discuss the result with their doctor, who will generally refer them for further investigations, usually a colonoscopy.
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Collection and usage attributes
|Frequency:||6-monthly (register snapshot)|
Source and reference attributes
Medicare Australia (Medicare Australia merged with the Department of Human Services in 2011)