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Bowel Cancer Screening Program: Age eligibility changes from 1 July 2024

From Monday 1 July 2024, the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program will lower the eligible screening age from 50 to 45.

Early detection is crucial in the fight against bowel cancer. By lowering the eligible screening age, more Australians will have the opportunity to catch potential issues early, significantly improving treatment outcomes.

This change allows younger individuals to benefit from early detection of bowel cancer.

  • People aged 45 to 49 can now request their first free kit via the NCSR website or from their GP.
  • People aged 50 to 74 will continue to receive a bowel cancer screening kit in the mail every 2 years.
  • All eligible individuals aged 45 to 74 can ask their doctor about getting a kit.

The program aims to reduce deaths from bowel cancer by detecting early signs of the disease. If found early, more than 90% of cases can be successfully treated. Eligible Australians aged 45 to 74 can do a free test at home every 2 years. Their next test kit will be automatically mailed every 2 years after their last screening test is completed.

Integrate the National Cancer Screening Register with your clinical software

The National Cancer Screening Register (NCSR) aims to streamline how healthcare providers manage cancer screening data.

You can now access your patients’ cancer screening information and submit program forms directly to the NCSR through your clinical software.

Practices using MedicalDirector or Best Practice can integrate their systems to access a patient’s bowel and cervical screening records directly within the patient record.

Incorporating the NCSR into your practice helps to:

  • provide a history of screening results to better track patients' past screening outcomes
  • ensure timely participation in screening programs by sending patients reminders
  • provide a safety net for at-risk individuals so practices are best placed to follow-up and care for their patients who need it most.

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