Bowel cancer tests
Some people have tests for bowel cancer because they have symptoms. Others may not have any symptoms, but have a strong family history of bowel cancer or have received a positive result from a screening test.
The tests you have to diagnose bowel cancer depend on your specific situation. 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 the treatment is working. It may take up to a week to receive 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
Video: Cancer and common diagnostic tests
Download a PDF booklet on this topic.
A/Prof Craig Lynch, Colorectal Surgeon and Chair, Lower Gastrointestinal Cancer Service, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Merran Findlay, Executive Research Lead -Cancer Nutrition, and Oncology Specialist Dietitian, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, NSW; Jackie Johnston, Palliative Care and Stomal Therapy Clinical Nurse Consultant, St Vincent’s Private Hospital, NSW; A/Prof Susan Pendlebury, Radiation Oncologist, St Vincent’s Clinic, NSW; Jan Priaulx, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council NSW; A/Prof Eva Segelov, Professor of Oncology, Monash Health and Monash University, VIC; Heather Turner, Consumer; Lynne Wolowiec, Consumer.
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