Screening and primary care
Primary health care providers are important partners in the promotion and delivery of cancer screening programs.
Participation in cancer screening programs is a significant factor in reducing cancer-related illness and mortality. Research shows that a primary health care provider recommending or endorsing cancer screening programs increases participation in cervical, breast and bowel screening.1,2
Providers also play a key role in supporting people to seek and participate in cancer screening programs through provision of education and accessible resources.
What is Cancer Screening?
Cancer screening involves simple tests that look for early signs of cancer, or the conditions that cause cancer. Screening tests can find cancer before you can see or feel any changes to your body. When you find cancer early, it is easier to treat successfully.
Bowel cancer screening
- Bowel cancer screening - information for the general public
- Bowel screening resources - resources for health professionals and other community awareness resources
- Bowel screening community education resources - the 'Bowel Health and Screening' Flipchart and Facilitator Manual is a series of resources designed as tools to assist in providing education on bowel cancer and bowel cancer screening to women and men from different cultural backgrounds. The flipchart is available in multiple languages.
- National Bowel Screening Program - find out how the program works and how to do the test.
- The role of health professionals and providers in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program - resources for general practice.
- National Cancer Screening Register - supports the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program, find out the functions of the Register and how to access the HealthCare Provider Portal.
Breast cancer screening
- Information for health professionals - BreastScreen NSW
- BreastScreen NSW - find and book a breast screen service for your patients
- Breast screening community education resources - the ‘Breast Health and Screening’ Flipchart and Facilitator Manual have been designed as tools to assist in providing education on breast cancer and breast cancer screening to women and men from different cultural backgrounds. The flipchart is available in multiple languages.
- Breast cancer screening - Cancer Institute NSW information for the general public
- Cervical screening - information for the general public
- Information for health professionals
- Cervical screening community education resources - the Cervical Screening 'Taking Care of Your Health' Flipchart and Facilitator Manual have been designed to support those providing information on cervical cancer and cervical screening to women from different cultural backgrounds, particularly those eligible to participate in the National Cervical Screening Program (NCSP). The flipchart is available in multiple languages.
- National Cancer Screening Register - supports the National Cervical Screening Program, find out the functions of the Register and how to access the HealthCare Provider Portal.
Cancer screening and primary care: a quality improvement toolkit
The cancer screening and primary care toolkit provides general practices with a clear and easy-to-follow roadmap for improving cancer screening rates. This toolkit will guide your practice through the steps required to:
- establish accurate cancer screening participation rates
- identify patients who are overdue for screening
- establish an effective cancer screening reminder system
- deliver patient-centred care to those at increased risk of non-participation in screening.
1. Emery JD, Shaw K, Williams B, et al. The role of primary care in early detection and follow-up of cancer. Nat Rev Clin Oncol. 2014;11(1):38-48. doi:10.1038/nrclinonc.2013.212
2. Cancer Institute NSW. NSW Primary Care Strategy for the bowel, breast and cervical screening programs. NSW:Cancer Institute NSW, 2016. Available at: https://www.cancer.nsw.gov.au/about-cancer/document-library/nsw-primary-care-strategy-for-the-bowel-breast-and