National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP)

Bowel cancer screening for Australians aged 50 to 74 by 2020Bowel Cancer Australia Advocacy Australian Government 770


Bowel Cancer Australia is represented on the Australian Government's National Bowel Cancer Screening Program Advisory Group and Communications Working Group, focusing on the roll out of the Program and the development of a national communications framework.

In 2006, the then Minister for Health, the Hon Tony Abbott MP, announced funding for Bowel Cancer Australia to roll-out the first ever national bowel cancer screening campaign, It's Crunch Time™, which promoted participation by eligible Australians in Phase I and II of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program.

The It's Crunch Time™ campaign featured cricket legend Max Walker AM.

In the 2014 Federal Budget, the Abbott Government announced an additional $95.9 million over four year to accelerate implementation of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program to all Australians aged 50 to 74 years by 2020. 

This will ensure the Program will become consistent with the National Health and Medical Research Council clinical practice guidelines, which recommend screening every 1 to 2 years from age 50.

It is estimated that when fully rolled out, approximately four million eligible Australians will be invited each year.

This will significantly reduce the burden of bowel cancer on Australians and their families.
 
The National Bowel Cancer Screening Program is being phased in gradually.  The table below outlines the start dates of each phase and eligible ages.
 

Phase Start Date End Date Eligible Ages
1 7 August 2007 30 June 2008 55 and 65
2 1 July 2008 30 June 2011(a) 50, 55 and 65
2(b) 1 July 2011 30 June 2013 50, 55 and 65
3 1 July 2013 ongoing 50, 55, 60 and 65
3 1 January 2015   50, 55, 60, 65, 70 and 74
3 1 January 2016   50, 55, 60, 64, 65, 70, 72 and 74
3 1 January 2017   50, 54, 55, 58, 60, 64, 68, 70, 72 and 74
3 1 January 2018   50, 54, 58, 60, 62, 64, 66, 68, 70, 72 and 74
3 1 January 2019   50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60, 62, 64, 66, 68, 70, 72 and 74
(a) Eligible birthdates, and thus invitations, ended on 31 December 2010.
(b) Ongoing NBCSP funding commenced.

Note: The eligible population for all pHase 2 and 3 start dates incorporates those turning the target ages from 1 January of that year, onwards.

For further information regarding eligible ages and the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program, please contact 1800 118 868.

For people not yet eligible to receive a free bowel cancer screening test as part of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program, talk to your GP or pharmacist about how to purchase a BowelScreen Australia® test.
 
Alternatively to purchase a test online, please visit the BowelScreen Australia® webpage or call 1800 555 494.   
 
Bowel Cancer Australia NBCSP test kit mailbox
 

 
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Bowel Cancer Australia BowelScreen Australia Test