Cancer screening

A key focus for COORDINARE is to increase cancer screening rates across a range of demographics; from older people, to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities. 

To achieve this, we are working with local community and health care providers to implement prevention strategies, promote awareness for cancer screening initiatives and enhance access to services. Read our Prevention initiatives statement for more information. 

National cancer screening programs

The National Cancer Screening Register 2018 supports the national bowel cancer and cervical screening programs, and:

  • provides a single service that will collect, analyse and report screening data in a nationally consistent manner and inform timely decision-making
  • facilitates invitations for screening and mailing of test kits
  • allows participants to access their screening records
  • allows cervical screening providers to access patient records.

The Register is underpinned by legislation that will ensure protection of invitees’ and participants’ personal information. An update on progress with implementing new functions can be found here. For details about accessing the register, searching for forms, or to access the Quick Start Guide for Healthcare Providers, click here. BreastScreen Australia is the national breast cancer screening program, click here for more information.


HealthPathways provides a detailed guide to cancer screening, assessment, management and local referral options. Visit the Illawarra Shoalhaven or ACT & Southern NSW HealthPathways sites for information relevant to your region.

Breast screening interval guidelines and information, online modules and other professional development resources for health professionals are available on the BreastScreen NSW and the Cancer Australia websites.

GPs can request details of all their patients who have screened with BreastScreen NSW over the past 24 months, and who have given consent for their results to be shared with their GP. Download the GP request form here.

Please note: BreastScreen NSW has temporarily suspended routine breast screening as of Friday 27 March. 

  • Women will continue to be notified of screening results. If the woman has provided consent, her nominated doctor will receive a letter confirming the results.
  • Women who have been recalled for assessment will be assessed as usual, and within the COVID 19 response requirements.
  • Women who had their appointment cancelled, or who become due for a mammogram, will have their breast screening invitation reactivated by BreastScreen NSW at resumption of service. 
  • BreastScreen NSW will provide regular updates to Basecamp, the BreastScreen NSW website and Facebook page as the situation unfolds.

The National Bowel Cancer Screening Program website has information for health professionals on bowel screening, including a GP information sheet.

Visit the Cancer Council Australia website to view the Clinical Practice Guidelines for the prevention, early detection and management of colorectal cancer.

The National Indigenous Bowel Screening Pilot promotes screening for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and provides training for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers. Resources and an online module are available for health workers here. Organisations wishing to find out more can contact Waminda, South Coast Women's Health and Welfare Aboriginal Corporation on (02) 4421 7400.

Cancer Council Australia has an online toolkit to make it easier for GPs and other health professionals to support their patients to screen. Tailored resources are available for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and culturally and linguistically diverse people, including resources 'In your language'.

The National Cervical Cancer Screening Program website has comprehensive information for health professionals including evidence, pathology, the new screening pathway and MBS items. The resource library contains information packs, quick reference guides and other materials which can be downloaded or ordered as hard copies. 

An FAQ document for health professionals, covering the most frequently asked questions about cervical screening, is available here.

The Department of Health advises that clinicians should check with their pathology provider that they are accredited to offer patient self-screening. The RACGP website has a series of videos addressing common questions that GPs receive.

Guidelines for the management of screen-detected abnormalities, screening in specific populations and investigation of abnormal vaginal bleeding can be accessed here.

Information and guidelines concerning screening of women under 25 can be found here. Cancer NSW have also developed this video, which promotes the importance of cervical screening to women. 

Below is a list of useful resources around cancer screening:

Cervical screening

Breast screening

Patient resources

Cancer care

EviQ GP Factsheets

The following resources are a brief list of quality improvement activities for improving cancer screening:

  • SPDS Cancer Screening Data Quality Improvement Activities using CAT4.
  • COORDINARE’s Cancer Screening Quality Initiative – Improvement Activities for General Practice aims to promote a consistent, systems approach to cancer screening within general practice that supports increased participation rates for underscreened or ‘at risk’ groups. For further information contact your Health Coordination Consultant or phone 1300 069 002.
  • Consider the HealthPathways PDSA CPD activity to implement the cervical screening changes in practice. See the 'Information' tab - clinical resources on the bottom of the page of the Illawarra Shoalhaven or ACT & Southern NSW sites.