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Cancer screening update

The recent scare involving self-test bowel cancer kits may have many people concerned. However, if you have taken one of these tests, it is important not to panic.

After a lower than expected level of positive results in bowel cancer test performed since December 2008, the Department of Health and Ageing reviewed the reliability of the self-test kits. As a result, quality issues were identified and those involved in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program will be invited to re-take the test.

All 475,000 people who have received the test since 1 December 2008 will be contacted, although many of these have not yet used the test. Those how have undertaken the test and received a negative result, 108,000 in total, will be offered re-tests. It is expected that everyone will be contacted within two weeks.

For information about re-testing options, visit health.gov.au.

If you are experiencing any symptoms that may indicate a bowel health issue, such as, bleeding from the rectum, blood in stools, noticeable changes in bowel movements, abdominal pain or unexpected tiredness, then you should contact your medical practitioner immediately.

For more details on bowel health, how and when to take the test and possible treatments, download YOURLifeChoices pdf, Bottoms up!

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