National Bowel Cancer Screening Program – please do your free test

NIHRACS encourages all residents over the age of 50 years to do a test which looks for the early signs of bowel cancer.

You will get your first National Bowel Cancer Screening Program test kit in the mail around your 50th birthday. The test is free and easy to do in your own home. 

Bowel cancer is one of the most common cancers in Australia, especially for people aged over 50.  If found early, bowel cancer can be successfully treated 90% of the time.

We strongly recommend you do the test – even if you don’t have any symptoms or family history. 

You should talk to your GP before doing the test if you have:

  • a significant family history of bowel cancer,
  • had a bowel condition in the last year which is under treatment,
  • had a colonoscopy in the last 5 years or have one scheduled.

Symptoms of bowel cancer can include:

  • blood in your bowel motion,
  • persistent diarrhoea or constipation,
  • unexplained tiredness or weight loss, or
  • abdominal pain.

Symptoms do not mean that you have bowel cancer, but if you have any please talk to your GP -don’t wait to get a test in the post.

For more information call the Program Information Line on 1800 118 868 or go to  And of course, you can also always visit your GP to discuss.

NIHRACS acknowledges there can be delays in Norfolk’s postal service and is now offering to assist in getting the samples to the laboratory in time.  When you have followed all instructions, and the parcel is ready to post, just drop it off at the hospital pathology lab by Monday.  The parcel will go out on Tuesday’s plane with other pathology samples.  This will ensure that your parcel will not be impacted by postal delays.

Remember, the test could save your life.  Please do it when you get it.

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