Bowel cancer tests
Some people have tests for bowel cancer because they have symptoms; others have no symptoms but a strong family history of bowel cancer or have received a positive result through the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program.
The tests you have to diagnose bowel cancer depend on your symptoms and other factors. They may include general tests to check your overall health and body function, tests to find cancer, and tests to see if the cancer has spread (metastasised).
Some tests may be repeated during or after treatment to check how well treatment is working. It may take up to a week to get your test results.
If you feel anxious while waiting for test results, it may help to talk to a friend or family member, or call Cancer Council 13 11 20 for support.
Learn more about:
- General tests
- Tests to find cancer in the bowel
- Further tests
- How to prepare your bowels before diagnostic tests
Video: Cancer and common diagnostic tests
A/Prof David A Clark, Colorectal Surgeon, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, and The University of Queensland, QLD, and The University of Sydney, NSW; A/Prof Siddhartha Baxi, Radiation Oncologist and Medical Director, GenesisCare Gold Coast, QLD; Dr Hooi Ee, Specialist Gastroenterologist and Head, Department of Gastroenterology, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, WA; Annie Harvey, Consumer; A/Prof Louise Nott, Medical Oncologist, Icon Cancer Centre, Hobart, TAS; Caley Schnaid, Accredited Practising Dietitian, GenesisCare, St Leonards and Frenchs Forest, NSW; Chris Sibthorpe, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council Queensland; Dr Alina Stoita, Gastroenterologist and Hepatologist, St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney, NSW; Catherine Trevaskis, Gastrointestinal Cancer Specialist Nurse, Canberra Hospital, ACT; Richard Vallance, Consumer.
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