Cancer Screening

Program Officers
Hannah Coffey |
Stephanie 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


COVID-19 Service Update: An important message from BreastScreen NSW as at 26 May 2020:


BreastScreen NSW has recommenced routine breast screening.  Services were suspended temporarily to protect women, staff and the community from the risk of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Please see below the latest updates for the service:

  • Screening resumption - routine breast screening has recommenced.
  • Capacity impacts - screening capacity will be impacted at most BreastScreen NSW sites due to COVID-19. A staged approach to resumption of service in NSW is planned. Please call 13 20 50 for more information relating to your closest screening service.
  • Invitations – women due for a screening mammogram who had their appointment cancelled or delayed due to service suspension are a priority. BreastScreen NSW is currently contacting these women to invite them to book an appointment for their routine breast screen.
  • Safety - BreastScreen NSW is taking necessary steps to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our clients in relation to COVID-19. Please refer to the summary below, and fact sheet attached.

As usual, women are encouraged to be breast aware. Should women find a breast change that is unusual for them, contact their doctor without delay.

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

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



COVID-19 Update from the National Cervical Cancer Screening Program as at 8 May 2020:

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.