A FREE life-saving test will soon be available to people aged 45 to 49

Bowel cancer is Australia’s second biggest cancer killer and around 15,500 Aussies are diagnosed with the disease every year. From 1 July 2024, 1.6 million Australians aged 45 to 49 will be able to join the Australian Government’s National Bowel Cancer Screening Program.

Date published:
General public

People aged 50 to 74 will continue to receive a free bowel screening kit in the mail every 2 years.

Bowel cancer can develop without a family history of the disease and often without signs and symptoms. This free test can find traces of blood in your poo that may indicate the presence of cancer or pre-cancerous polyps. Catching it early is key. So do the test when you receive it in the mail or order one for free. And if you are aged 45 to 49, join the program by requesting your first kit from July 1 – it might just save your life. 

The Australian Government recently committed $38.8 million towards following up people who have received a positive bowel cancer screening result through the program. The government also committed $10.25 million towards a national campaign with Cancer Council Australia and a grassroots community roadshow. This will motivate more eligible Australians to complete their test, including First Nations people and people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

The roadshow will begin its journey from Sydney in June and will head to locations in:

  • Northern Territory 
  • far north Queensland 
  • south-east Queensland 
  • ACT 
  • regional NSW. 

Media personality and emergency doctor Andrew Rochford is the roadshow campaign’s ambassador. 

The National Bowel Cancer Screening Program’s roadshow trailer and Get Behind It! campaign was launched on May 23 with the Western Sydney Wanderers Football Club who have also partnered with the Australian Government to promote bowel cancer screening to their community.

From 1 July, people aged 45 to 49 can request their first bowel screening kit at www.ncsr.gov.au/boweltest, by calling 1800 627 701, or by talking to their doctor.

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