South Western Sydney PHN (SWSPHN) aims to work collaboratively with general practice, the community and other stakeholders to improve cancer screening participation rates and reduce cancer risk for our target population.
In order to achieve this, SWSPHN is undertaking a cancer screening project which aims to improve participation in the three national screening programs: cervical, breast and bowel cancer screening.
Cancer occurs when normal cells grow and multiply in an uncontrolled way. These may spread to other parts of the body.
When cells form a mass they are called tumours, either benign or malignant.
Benign tumours are not cancerous, do not spread, can be removed and usually do not return.
Malignant tumours are cancerous, grow uncontrollably, can spread, and may require many types of treatment or management.
Cancer screening can help protect your health through early detection, even if you do not have any symptoms of the disease. Simple screening tests will look for particular changes, early signs of cancer, or the likelihood a person could develop the disease in the future.
In many cases, early detection increases the chances of successful treatment. Tests are offered to people who may have a risk of a particular disease because of their age, gender or other factors. A screening test cannot diagnose cancer and further investigation may be necessary.
In Australia around 90 men and women die each week from bowel cancer.
It is the second most deadly cancer in NSW; however only 31.8 percent of people in South Western Sydney participate in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program. Early detection and treatment of bowel cancer significantly improves survival rates.
Having a regular GP is important as they provide education, screening information and can arrange a bowel cancer test or speak to you about your home test kit.
Your GP will advise or refer you for further investigation or treatment if needed.
The National Bowel Cancer Screening Program aims to help detect bowel cancer early and reduce associated deaths. Currently, men and women turning 50, 55, 60, 64, 65, 70, 72 and 74 are sent a screening kit to complete at home and return free of charge. Results are provided to both the participant and their GP. By 2020, participants will be invited to complete the test every two years from the age of 50.
The register collects patient information to send test reminders, ensure relevant follow-up and access to health services, and to collect data to monitor and evaluate the program.
In South Western Sydney only 51.9 percent of eligible women are having a regular Pap test.
All women 18-69 years of age who have ever been sexually active should have a Pap test every two years, even if vaccinated for Human Papillomavirus (HPV) with Gardasil. Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable and curable of all cancers. Having a Pap test every two years can reduce the risk of diagnosis by up to 96 percent.
The primary HPV test will replace the Pap test for cervical screening from 1 May, 2017. Under the new program, women aged 25 to 74, both HPV vaccinated and unvaccinated, are invited to be screened every five years, instead of every two years.
HPV vaccinations are offered to Year 7 students through a school-based program run throughout South Western Sydney.
NSW Pap Test Register
The NSW Pap Test Register is a secure and classified database that acts to remind women of an overdue test, provide results and recall letters, and ensure those with abnormal results receive appropriate follow-up care. The register can also provide your GP with test results and follow-up test history.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting women, with one in eight women in NSW developing breast cancer in their lifetime.
Having regular mammograms is the best way to find breast cancer early, when treatment is likely to be most successful. Yet only 44.3 percent of eligible women in South Western Sydney have regular mammograms.
BreastScreen NSW is a free breast screening service for women aged 40 years and over. The service targets women aged 50 to 74 years to have a mammogram every two years. Women aged 40-49 and those above 75 years are also welcome.
BreastScreen NSW provides mammograms at various fixed and mobile locations all around Australia. To find your closest mobile van visit www.breastscreen.nsw.gov.au
BreastScreen NSW fixed location in South Western Sydney
Ground Flr, Civic Tower Building,
Cnr Rickard Rd and Jacobs St
157 – 161 George St, (Unit 5)
and also at 102 Bigge St
4 Browne St
Bowral Medical Imaging, Bowral District Hospital, Bowral St
South Western Sydney PHN
National Bowel Cancer Screening Program
Bowel Cancer Australia
National Cervical Screening Program
Cervical Screening NSW
Family Planning NSW