Cancer Screening

Cancer screening rates (cervical, breast, bowel) are a national headline indicator for Primary Health Networks (PHNs) and have been identified through the Hunter New England and Central Coast (HNECC) Baseline Needs Assessment, as a priority area for the PHN.

Evidence has shown that primary health care can have a significant impact on improving screening rates, in particular general practitioners and primary care clinicians.

Population-based cancer screening programs can be an effective means to identify cancers in people with no symptoms, allowing early treatment and a reduction in illness and mortality.

Currently, Australia has three national cancer screening programs:

National Cervical Screening Program

BreastScreen Australia

National Bowel Cancer Screening Program

Low participation rates for cervical, breast and bowel cancer screening and high levels of incidence and mortality in particular regions and within disadvantaged population groups across the region, compared to the NSW average, has informed the development of the HNECCPHN Cancer Screening strategy. This Strategy is aimed at improving participation rates in targeted communities and priority populations across the HNECCPHN region.

Key focus areas of the cancer screening strategy are;

* Developing partnerships with primary care providers, clinicians and community
* Supporting and enhancing primary care system capacity and capability
* Enhancing Clinician skills and knowledge.


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