Bowel cancer tests

Colorectal cancer tests

Find reliable independent health and treatment information about bowel cancer screening tests written by Australian experts. This includes resources for consumers and health professionals.

About bowel cancer screening

We currently have no information specifically on bowel cancer screening but we will be developing new resources as the need arises. In the meantime see the list of resource below, use the search box to find more, or review our information for health professionals – so you can discuss this with your health carer.

For health professionals  

Since the introduction of colorectal cancer screening in Australia, the number of cancers identified at the earliest and most treatable stage has tripled from 15% to 40%.1,2 The Australian screening program favours the use of immunochemical fecal occcult blood test (FOBT) over older guaiac FOBTs. The guaiac FOBT involves a biochemical test that can be confounded by ingesting meat products and requires dietary restriction before the test. The immunochemical test is more specific and does not require dietary restriction. Screening for colorectal cancer is recommended for all Australians in the average risk population from age 50, every 2 years until age 75.3

Clinical information

Quality use of medical tests means choosing the right test for the patient and using it at the right time. We have compiled some of the latest evidence and guidelines on colorectal cancer screening to help you discuss the relevance of this with your patients.

  1. Cancer Council Australia. National Cancer Prevention Policy Bowel (colorectal) cancer. 2012. [Online] (accessed 8 January 2013).
  2. Ananda SS, McLaughlin SJ, Chen F, et al. Initial impact of Australia's National Bowel Cancer Screening Program. Med J Aust 2009;191:378–81 [Pubmed]
  3. Guidelines for preventive activities in general practice (The Red Book) 8th Edition. Melbourne: Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, 2012. [Online] (accessed 8 January 2013).

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