Bowel Screening

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It is important that you continue to do your bowel screening test when you receive it in the mail.

If you receive a positive result - do not delay follow-up of this result. You should promptly:

  • consult your doctor, and
  • attend your colonoscopy when it is scheduled by the hospital.

If you, or anyone in your household, have been feeling unwell with flu-like symptoms, you should phone your GP/specialist to re-schedule your appointment.

If you have any bowel symptoms or a persistent change to your bowel habit, don’t wait to receive your kit in the mail, you should promptly speak with your GP or specialist, even if you are currently on a waiting list for colonoscopy.

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More Information


About Bowel Screening

Bowel cancer is the second most common cancer and second leading cause of cancer-related deaths for men and women in Tasmania.

From the age of 50, your risk of bowel cancer increases and often there are no early warning signs. If you are aged 50 to 74, the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP) will send you a free bowel screening test in the mail every two years.

Sadly, less than 50% of Tasmanians are currently completing their free bowel screening kit when they receive it in the mail.

Doing your bowel screening test is easy to do at home and is the best way to prevent bowel cancer or find it early - when over 90% of cases can be successfully treated.

When you receive your bowel screening kit

Poo.Poke.Post. It Could Save Your Life. Poo - you know what to do. Poke - use the stick to poke your poo... Post - follow the instructions and post your samples back in the Reply Paid envelope. That's all there is to it! Got a question? The National Bowel Cancer Screening Program Information Line is here to help. Call 1800 118 868.

View larger PDF version of Poo Poke Post


Test instructions

Instructions on how to do the test

If you have any of the following, talk to your doctor before doing the test:

  • A family history of bowel cancer
  • A bowel condition which is currently under treatment
  • Have recently had a colonoscopy.

When you get your screening kit test result

If you receive a positive test result:

  • This test is highly accurate at detecting blood in your bowel motion/poo. You do not need to repeat this test.
  • Not every positive result is a sign of cancer.
  • Every positive result needs further investigation as it could be a sign of a change in your bowel.

It is important you:

  • see your doctor for a referral for a colonoscopy (you may be referred to a public or private hospital), and
  • attend your colonoscopy when this is scheduled by the hospital.

A colonoscopy is a procedure to take a close look at your bowel and investigate the source of bleeding. More information about a colonoscopy.

If you receive a negative test result:

  • You should do the test every two years when you receive it in the mail and encourage your family and friends to do the same.

If it has been over two years since you have received your screening kit, call 1800 118 868 to request that one is sent to your home address.

If you have symptoms

If you have any symptoms or a persistent change to your bowel habit, don’t wait to receive your next kit in the mail, you should speak with your GP promptly.

Symptoms may include:

  • Diarrhoea (watery poo)
  • Constipation (difficulty doing a poo)
  • Seeing blood in the toilet or on the toilet paper after doing a poo
  • Pain in your abdomen, or
  • Noticing you are feeling tired or losing weight for no reason.

For more information

Call the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program on 1800 118 868, or view their Frequently Asked Questions.

Call the Tasmanian Bowel Cancer Prevention Program on 03 6165 4017 or email tas.bowelscreen@ths.tas.gov.au

Learn more about reducing your risk of bowel cancer and the importance of bowel cancer screening by arranging an information session for your workplace or community group: email us at canscreenpeu@ths.tas.gov.au