Key messages

  • Bowel cancer is the third most common cancer in Victoria.
  • More than ninety per cent of bowel cancers can be successfully treated if found early.
  • For most people, screening for bowel cancer involves a simple, at-home screening test. The National Bowel Cancer Screening Program offers free kits to eligible people between the ages of 50 and 74 years every two years.
  • Regular screening with the kit can reduce the risk of dying of bowel cancer.

Bowel cancer is the third most common cancer in Victoria, and the second most common cause of cancer death. In 2017, 3,910 Victorians were diagnosed with bowel cancer and 1,310 died of the disease. 

More than ninety per cent of bowel cancers can be successfully treated if found early.

National Bowel Cancer Screening Program

The National Bowel Cancer Screening Program invites eligible people aged 50 to 74 to screen for bowel cancer using a free, simple test at home every two years.

To find out if your eligible and for more information and resources see the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program website.

The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services is responsible for the implementation of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program in Victoria, including timely access to colonoscopy for public patients, delivery of the Participant Follow-up Function, facilitating research and education for health professionals, and initiatives to improve community awareness and participation in screening.