Screening for (pre)cancerous lesions

Australia currently has 3 national cancer screening programs based on national guidelines, which recommend regular screening for breast, cervical & colorectal cancers:

BreastScreen Australia

BreastScreen Australia has helped to decrease the age-standardised mortality from breast cancer by 37% between 1991 and 2010. The program enables more breast cancers to be picked up and those that are detected are found at an earlier stage, making them more treatable.

Click here to access more information, developed by the Department of Health & Human Services, on breast screening


National Cervical Screening Program

The National Cervical Screening Program helps to detect cancerous and precancerous lesions such that the incidence of cervical cancer has dropped by 50% since the introduction of the national program in 1991.

Click here to access more information on the role of the Tasmanian Cervical Cytology Register


 National Bowel Cancer Screening Program

The National Bowel Cancer Screening Program is a more recent program which uses Faecal Occult Blood Testing (FOBT) to detect adenomas and cancerous polyps. 17% of participants in the program with a positive FOBT had polyps (either adenomas or cancerous polyps) found on colonoscopy.

Bowel cancer claims 75 Australian lives every week.  If you are 50 or over, check out Cancer Council’s campaign to find out how a simple home test could help save your life.  Click here to see how.

Click here to access the AIHW National Bowel Cancer Screening Program monitoring report

References: AIHW & AACR 2012. Cancer in Australia: an overview 2012. Cancer series no. 74. Cat. no. CAN 70. Canberra: AIHW.