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|Bowel Cancer Screening Program
The National Bowel Cancer Screening Program is a population based screening program that aims to help detect bowel cancer early and reduce the number of Australians who die each year from the disease.
Screening involves testing people who do not have any obvious symptoms. The aim is to find polyps or bowel cancer early when they are easier to treat and cure.
Polyps are tiny growths on the bowel lining that may become cancerous.
The test used in the Program is an immunochemical Faecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT). The test involves taking a tiny sample of faeces which is tested in a pathology laboratory. The FOBT can detect tiny amounts of blood in faeces which may be a sign of cancer or polyps. The FOBT used in the Program is the most accurate test available for use in population screening for bowel cancer.
The Program is expanding and by 2020 all Australians aged between 50 and 74 years will be offered free screening every two years, consistent with the recommendations of the National Health and Medical Research Council.
More from www.cancerscreening.gov.au