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Finding cancer at an early stage increases the chances of successful treatment and improved survival.

There are two ways you can act to find cancer early:

  1. It's important to get to know your body and what is normal for you. If you notice anything unusual for you, see your doctor.
  2. The Australian Government operates the following screening programs for eligible Australians:

BreastScreen Australia

BreastScreen Australia targets women aged 50-74, although women aged 40-49 and 75 years and older are able to attend for screening. For more information visit BreastScreen Australia.

The National Cervical Screening Program

The program promotes routine screening with Pap smears every two years for women between the ages of 18 (or two years after first sexual intercourse, whichever is later) and 69 years.

For information about Pap smears, call the National Cervical Screening Program information line on 13 15 56 or visit The National Cervical Screening Program.

National Bowel Cancer Screening Program

Cancer Australia welcomes the Federal Government’s announcement of an additional $95.9 million over four years to accelerate the full implementation of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program. The National Bowel Cancer Screening Program will provide a free, at home bowel cancer screening kit every two years for people aged 50 to 74 by 2020.

Between 2015 and 2020, more age groups will be added to the screening program:

  • 2016: 72 and 64 year olds
  • 2017: 68, 58 and 54 year olds

People aged 52, 56, 62 and 66 will be included from 2018 to 2020.

By 2020, around four million Australians will be invited to screen each year, which could save up to 500 lives annually and significantly reduce the burden of bowel cancer on Australians and their families.

For more information regarding screening for bowel cancer, speak to your doctor or call the Cancer Helpline on 13 11 20 or visit National Bowel Cancer Screening Program.