Guidance for patient screening

Australia’s 3 national cancer screening programs aim to prevent cancer through regular testing and early detection. Learn about the programs and how you as a healthcare provider can play an important role in our breast, bowel and cervical screening programs.

Your role in encouraging cancer screening

As a healthcare provider you play an important part in the cancer screening programs.

Patients are more likely to take part in a program if a healthcare provider recommends participation. Sharing your knowledge about the screening programs with your patients:

  • increases your understanding of the programs
  • encourages them to participate.

Learn more about the role of healthcare providers in the:

The National Cancer Screening Register (NCSR)

You can access information about your patients’ participation in the National Cervical Screening and National Bowel Cancer Screening Programs through the NCSR.

Use the NCSR Healthcare Provider Portal to:

  • check a patients’ bowel and cervical screening history
  • lodge clinical forms relating to both programs electronically
  • order patients a new bowel testing kit.

Practices using Best Practice, MedicalDirector and Communicare can now integrate their practice systems with the NCSR to view their patient’s cervical screening record directly within a patient record. All other users can access their patient’s screening records via PRODA. Visit National Cancer Screening Register website for more information.

Clinical and screening guidelines

The following evidence-based clinical and screening guidelines are available to guide your decision making and help manage cancer screening with your patients:

Stay up to date

Keep up with changes to the screening programs:

Resources

Screening program resources

Health sector resources, including guides, fact sheets, are available for:

Education and professional development resources

GP Cancer Screening Education Package. This online course provides information, resources, and tools to support GPs and their practice in their ongoing role to promote and manage patients through the 3 cancer screening programs (bowel, breast, and cervical).

It is an accredited activity under the professional development programs of the:

  • Royal Australian College of General Practitioner’s (RACGP)
  • Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM).

2022 general practice packs

In June 2022, the department commenced distribution of cancer screening packs to general practices across Australia. Below are links to digital copies of printed materials included in these packs.

Three A3 posters, one for each national cancer screening program, with reminder messaging – you are encouraged to hang these in waiting rooms and other places visible to patients.

Instructions on how to do cancer screening test – these can be shown to patients when speaking to them about their screening.

Demonstration bowel cancer screening home test kits and cervical screening self-collection tubes were also included in the packs.

If you are a general practice and did not receive a pack by end of August 2022, please email your practice details to epe [at] health.gov.au.

More cancer screening information

Learn more about the role of healthcare providers in our 3 screening programs.

Last updated: 
13 July 2022

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