National Bowel Cancer Screening Program
What is the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program?
The National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP) aims to reduce morbidity and mortality from bowel cancer by screening the eligible target population for early detection or prevention of the disease.
Eligible Australians (those aged 50–74) are sent a free screening kit (immunochemical faecal occult blood test or iFOBT) and are invited to screen every 2 years.
To participate, people complete the screening test and post it to the pathology laboratory for analysis.
The NBCSP began in 2006, offering screening to people aged 55 and 65, and was subsequently expanded to include other ages. In 2014, the Australian Government announced that the program would be expanded to offer free 2-yearly screening for all Australians aged 50–74. The expansion was completed in 2020.
For the latest monitoring report for the NBCSP that includes data from the National Cancer Screening Register, see the AIHW report National Bowel Cancer Screening Program monitoring report 2023.
Explore the latest activity and participation data on the following pages:
846,000 invitations were sent out and 363,000 completed bowel cancer screening kits were returned in the March quarter 2023
Participation is the percentage of unique people invited, who returned a completed bowel screening test within the relevant 2-year period or by 30 June of the following year.
Activity data visualisations
AIHW (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare) (2023) National Bowel Cancer Screening Program monitoring report 2023, catalogue number CAN 154, AIHW, Australian Government, accessed 16 June 2023.