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National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP)

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Bowel cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in Australia, and around 80 Australians die each week from the disease. Bowel cancer can be treated successfully if detected in its early stages, but currently fewer than 40 per cent of bowel cancers are detected early.

The second phase of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP) commenced on 1 July 2008 and will offer testing to people turning 50 years of age between January 2008 and December 2010, and those turning 55 or 65 between July 2008 and December 2010.

People eligible to participate in the program will receive an invitation through the mail to complete a simple test called a faecal occult blood test (FOBT) in the privacy of their own home and mail it to a pathology laboratory for analysis. There is no cost involved in completing the FOBT. These screening tests have been shown in overseas clinical trials and in the Bowel Cancer Screening Pilot Program to be simple to use and highly effective. Participants with a positive FOBT 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:Help on this term6-monthly (register snapshot)

Source and reference attributes

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Medicare Australia (Medicare Australia merged with the Department of Human Services in 2011)