Cancer Screening

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.

What is Cancer?

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

Benign tumours are not cancerous, do not spread, can be removed and usually do not return.

Malignant tumours

Malignant tumours are cancerous, grow uncontrollably, can spread, and may require many types of treatment or management.

Cancer Screening

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 is the first step. Your GP will guide you through your cancer screening requirements.


Bowel Cancer

In Australia around 90 men and women die each week from bowel cancer. 

It is the second most deadly cancer in Australia; however only 34.3 pe rcent 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.

The role of your GP

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.

National Bowel Cancer Screening Program

The National Bowel Cancer Screening Program aims to reduce illness and death from bowel cancer through early detection or prevention of the disease.

Bowel Cancer is the second most common cause of death in Australia and around 90 Australians die from the disease every week.

South Western Sydney Bowel screening rates as at 2017: 34.3%

National Bowel Screening Program is inviting eligible people aged between 50 and 74 years to screen for bowel cancer. Participants are sent a free, clean, easy to use test kit to complete at home.

By 2020 all Australians aged between 50 and 74 years will have been invited to complete the free bowel screening test every two years.

As part of the phasing in of the program, the following age groups are being invited to participate:

2018:  50, 54, 58, 60, 62, 64, 66, 68, 70, 72 and 74

2019:  50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60, 62, 64, 66, 68, 70, 72 and 74

National Cancer Screening Register

The National Bowel Cancer Screening Program has transitioned to the National Cancer Screening Register. The register enables a single electronic record for each person in Australia participating in cervical and bowel screening. It plays a vital role in supporting the National Cervical Screening Program and the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program. It gives healthcare providers better access to quality health information and makes it easier for program participants to take control of their health. Find out more at –

Cervical Cancer

The Cervical Screening Test (CST) has replaced the Pap test.

The CST is due two years after your last Pap test.

All women aged 25 to 74 who have ever been sexually active are encouraged to have the CST done every five years.

Testing for HPV will detect cervical cancer earlier. It takes between 10 and 15 years for HPV to develop into cancer.

All women whom have had the HPV vaccination must still have regular CST’s.


High school program

HPV vaccinations are offered to Year 7 students through a school-based program run throughout South Western Sydney.

For more information download the Cancer Screening Factsheet

Download the Cancer Screening Factsheet in different languages: 





Breast Cancer

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

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

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


Mawson Centre,
4 Browne St


Bowral Medical Imaging, Bowral District Hospital, Bowral St

Handy Websites

South Western Sydney PHN

National Bowel Cancer Screening Program

Bowel Cancer Australia

National Cervical Screening Program

Cervical Screening NSW

Family Planning NSW

BreastScreen NSW

Cancer Institute NSW

Cancer Council

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