Cancer Screening

Program Officer
Lauren Walker |

To work with primary care and other key stakeholders to increase cancer screening rates and reduce the prevalence of specific risk factors in target populations.This involves integrated, cancer-focused strategies in  areas such as health promotion, quality improvement, chronic disease management, and practice management and accreditation

The National Cancer Screening Register

The National Cancer Screening Register has been established in order to fully support cervical and bowel cancer screening pathways, from initial invitation and screening through to diagnosis including management, quality assurance, follow up and reporting.

The Register is operated by Telstra Health on behalf of the Australian government Department of Health. 

The National Cancer Screening Register
  • Maintaining a national database of cervical and bowel screening records.
  • Inviting eligible people to commence cervical screening when they turn 25, and bowel screening when they turn 50.
  • Reminding participants when they are due and overdue for cervical or bowel screening.
  • Providing participants’ cervical screening history to laboratories and healthcare providers to inform screening recommendations and patient clinical pathways.
  • Distributing iFOBT screening kits (a test kit people can complete at home).
Benefits of the Register
  • Provides a ‘safety net’ for all participants, particularly those who are at risk or who have not attended further testing by prompting them to have follow-up tests.
  • Provides data and reports to governments and key stakeholders to drive responsive, evidence-based policy and program development.
  • Invitations to screen for cervical cancer is a new function (previously reliant on healthcare provider recommendation). Invitations are now sent to the under-screened/never-screened, leading to improved participation for these groups.
  • Enhancing strict data security – data collected by the Register is protected by legislation and maintained under the National Cancer Screening Register Act 2016 and other relevant laws.
  • Providing healthcare providers a self-service portal that will enable them to view National Register results for their patients and submit forms online to the National Register (as opposed to paper).
  • Enabling eligible participants to view their screening status and next screening round online via a Participant Portal, accesed via MyGov.
Contact Details

National Cancer Screening Register

  • Web:
  • Phone: 1800 627 701
  • Bowel Screening Fax: 1800 115 062
  • Cervical Screening Fax: 1800 627 702
  • Bowel Screening Postal: National Cancer Screening Register, Reply Paid 90965, SUNSHINE VIC 3020
  • Cervical Screening Postal: National Cancer Screening Register, Replay Paid 90964, SUNSHINE VIC 3020


Cancer Screening Programs

Healthcare Provider Portal

The National Register has expanded in the form of a Healthcare Provider Portal and Clinical Information System software integration with Best Practice and MedicalDirector.

The portal enables:

  • Healthcare providers to manage their patient’s participation in the National Cervical Screening Program and National Bowel Cancer Screening Program, including opting out and defer their screening
  • Healthcare providers to access screening information for participants of both programs
  • General Practitioners and other specialists to lodge clinical forms relating to both programs electronically
Users of the Healthcare Provider Portal
  • Primary HCPs and support staff
  • Specialist HCPs and support staff
  • Non-medica providers
  • Pathology laboratories involved in bowel and cervical screening
Clinical Information System software integration


The introduction of clinical information system is coming soon and will allow healthcare professionals using Best Practice and MedicalDirector to report clinical data seamlessly from their existing software interface using electronic forms.

Healthcare professionals will be able to access a patient’s screening results and histories for cervical and bowel screening, and request Bowel Program Test Kits for eligible participants.

More questions?

If you have any questions, please email


Navigating Portal vs Clinical Information System integration questions


With the introduction of new ways to interact with the National Register, you may be asked for guidance on which channel is recommended. The table below has been created to assist in providing consistent advice.


Questions from Primary Care


I work in primary care and currently use Best Practice/MedicalDirector, should we use the Healthcare Provider Portal?

Following integration with your practice software, you will be able to access your patient’s bowel and cervical screening data and submit forms electronically directly through your existing clinical information system. This removes the need to access the Healthcare Provider Portal.

I work in primary care and do not use Best Practice or MedicalDirector. Should we use the Healthcare Provider Portal?

Yes, recommended as a stop gap until your software is integrated with the National Register. A list of clinical information systems with live integrations to the National Register will be published at

I work in primary care and participate in the Alternative Pathway program, submitting webforms hosted on website. Should we use the Healthcare Provider Portal?

You are able to use the portal to view your patients bowel screening data, however for now, continue using the Alternative Pathway webform to submit data to the National Register.



COVID-19 Service Updates

Breast Cancer Screening


COVID-19 Service Update: An important message from BreastScreen NSW as at 28 September 2021: 


BreastScreen NSW to Resume Breast Screening

BreastScreen NSW is working closely with services at each local health district to resume screening as soon as local conditions allow.

As clinics re-open, they will be prioritising women who had their appointment cancelled during the suspension to rebook their appointment as soon as it is possible in their local area.

The reopening of clinics will be gradual and the decision to open each clinic will be made on a case-by-case basis according to the level of risk and operational considerations posed by the COVID-19 Delta strain in the area.

BreastScreen NSW are currently inviting clients in limited locations to have their breast screen. Details of clinics that are open can be found here.

Key points:

  • BreastScreen NSW will contact clients to re book their appointment.
  • They will prioritise client who had their appointments cancelled during the suspension.
  • They ask that clients wait to be reinvited by BreastScreen NSW before contacting us on 13 20 50.
  • BreastScreen NSW remains open for those clients who have been asked to return for additional tests to make a definitive diagnosis.
  • Regular updates are available on the website and Facebook page.
  • BreastScreen NSW recommends that clients who develop breast symptoms should contact their doctor or health worker without delay.

Please refer clients to the BreastScreen NSW website for the most up to date information about the service.


If you have any questions or require help, please call BreastScreen on 13 20 50.

Further updates will be provided on the Website and Facebook page.


Cervical Cancer Screening


COVID-19 Update from the National Cervical Cancer Screening Program as at 28 September 2021:

The National Cervical Screening Program is encouraging healthcare providers to continue to offer routine screening and follow up, understanding that patients may be feeling uncomfortable about attending for screening and healthcare providers/clinics have different capacities and arrangements for managing their patients.

To support your patients during this time, please refer to:

This guidance is supported by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Australian Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology.  

Future updates will be provided on the Department of Health Cancer Screening website.

If you or your staff have any further queries, please email

On average, one-in-two people in NSW will be diagnosed with a form of cancer by the age of 85 (CINSW 2018). Cancer is now the largest cause of mortality in Australia, surpassing cardiovascular disease (AIHW 2016). Cancer screening programs are key to reducing mortality. There are three population-based cancer screening programs in Australia for bowel, breast and cervical cancer. 

For relevant clinical information, please view Sydney HealthPathways and South East Sydney HealthPathways



Resources for health professionals (including guidelines,template links)  

Please see information at right hand menu for breast, cervical and bowel cancer screening. 

Information for health professionals to give to consumers 
  • GPs in our region have reported that low levels of health literacy around cancer screening, especially in culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) groups, makes having conversations about screening with patients more challenging considering the time restraints in general practice.

    New resources have been developed which include information brochures and videos aimed at increasing community health literacy around cancer screening, specifically in CALD groups, and to encourage people to discuss screening with their GPs and practice nurses. The resources are being disseminated within the community and are available to general practices.

    The print resource/brochure addresses bowel, breast and cervical screening and are available in 12 community languages (Arabic, Bengali, Chinese -simplified and traditional, Greek, Indonesian, Italian, Korean, Nepali, Spanish, Thai and Vietnamese). Messages and design were specifically selected by the community groups for optimal impact and informed by subject specialists.

    Flyers and posters 

    In-language colour brochures are available in:

    If you would like to order copies of this resource for your practice, please email, stating 1) type of resource A3 poster (A4/A3) or brochure 2) number required 3) language required. 

    These resources were developed with funding support from the Cancer Institute and were a joint initiative by CESPHN, South Eastern Sydney Local Health District (SESLHD) and Advance Diversity Services. The resources were co-designed by culturally and linguistically diverse community focus groups. The resources reinforce the message that “Taking care of yourself is the best way of looking after your family”, a message that the focus groups felt would resonate with their communities.

Quality Improvement activities 
    Population Health Cancer Management Program aims to support general practice to increase patient participation in breast, bowel and cervical screening. Please contact Stephanie Walker for more information. 
Commissioned Services 

Community Health and Hospitals Program: Boosting Cancer Management in General Practice to improve coordination of care and communication between general practices, hospitals and community services teams in the management of newly diagnosed and end stage cancer patients.

Supporting Arabic Health in Canterbury: Incorporating cancer screening information into Arabic speaking women’s group and senior group programs, and creation of a video resource for the barriers for Arabic speaking communities to bowel cancer screening.