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Cancer Screening

Posted by Oceanside Private Practice on 23 September 2017

The information on cancer screening on this website is not designed to provide medical or professional advice. It is designed to provide information only and if you have any health questions or problems please consult a medical doctor.

Screening for cancer is important as it can save your life. Screening for cancer involves doing tests that look for early signs of cancer or certain specific changes that happen before the cancer strikes or before you start to feel unwell. Cancer screening can help protect your health through early detection, even if you don't have any symptoms of the disease.
In Australia there are three national cancer screening programs namely, BreastScreeen Australia, The National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP) and the National Cervical Screening Program.

Breast cancer screening:

Breast cancer screening is run by BreastScreen Australia. This is the national screening program for breast cancer in Australia that offers all women aged 40 years and over free mammograms every 2 years with the aim of reducing illness and loss of life due to breast cancer. Since its inception in 1991 there has been a decrease in deaths from breast cancer from 68 deaths per 100,000 women to 43 deaths per 100,000 women in 2010 due to mammograms detecting breast cancer early giving women better options for effective treatments. Detecting any abnormalities early ensures that women have all treatment options available to them. The earlier breast cancer is found, the better the chance of surviving it.                                                       
Women aged 50-74 years are actively recruited by being contacted and reminded by BreastScreen Australia to have free mammograms every 2 years.
Women aged 40-49 must self-recruit, that is, BreastScreen Australia does not contact them or remind them to have free mammograms every 2 years. Discuss with the doctor first if you are in this age group.
Women 75 years and over must self-recruit, that is, BreastScreen Australia does not contact them or remind them to have free mammograms every 2 years. Discuss with the doctor first if you are in this age group.
Women 39 years and under must discuss with the doctor because screening mammograms are not effective for this age group and there is no national screening program.                                
All women with a strong family history of breast cancer or ovarian cancer or who have had breast cancer in the past must discuss with the doctor as their screening and monitoring may not be suitable with BreastScreen Australia.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
To book a free mammogram, please call 13 20 50 or visit BreastScreeen website: https://www.breastscreen.org.au

Bowel cancer screening:

Bowel cancer screening may save your life as it is the best way so far that's available to detect bowel cancer early before it spreads to the rest of your body. Remember, bowel cancer can develop without symptoms and as a result if bowel cancer is picked up early, you will have plenty of treatment options and improved survival chances. It is known that "regular screening for bowel cancer can reduce deaths from bowel cancer by 15-25% and prevent between 300-500 deaths each year" in Australia and if bowel cancer is detected early 90% of cases can be cured.          
Bowel cancer screening is run by The National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP). The (NBCSP) actively recruits eligible people aged 50 74 years to screen for bowel cancer using a free and simple test at home.  If you are eligible, depending on your age, a kit will be send to your home address. After following the instructions and performing the test you will need to send the samples back. In 2019 bowel screening will be done every 2 years.                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
Patients 49 years and under and those 75 years and over must discuss with the doctor as the risks outweigh benefits in these age groups and there is no national screening program.                
All patients with a strong family history of bowel cancer or who have had bowel cancer in the past must discuss with the doctor as their screening and monitoring may not be suitable with the NBCSP.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
For more information please call 1800 118 868 or visit the program website: http://www.cancerscreening.gov.au

Cervical cancer screening:

Cervical cancer screen is run by the National Cervical Screening Program and as of December 1, 2017, the current two yearly Pap test for women aged 18 to 69 will change to a five yearly human papillomavirus (HPV) test for women aged 25 to 74 called the Cervical Screening Test. Since the inception of the National Cervical Screening Program in 1991 the rate of cervical cancer has halved.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
Women 24 years and under and those 75 years and over must discuss with the doctor as the risks outweigh benefits in these age groups and there is no national screening program.               
All women with symptoms or have a strong family history of cervical cancer or who have had cervical cancer in the past must discuss with the doctor as their screening and monitoring may not be suitable with the National Cervical Screening Program.                                                                                                                                                                                                              
For more information please call 131556 or visit the program website: http://www.cancerscreening.gov.au

Lung cancer

Currently there is no scientific evidence to support a lung cancer screening program for any one, as the risks outweigh the benefits. If you have any concerns or questions please discuss with the doctor.

Prostate cancer

Currently there is insufficient scientific evidence to support a prostate cancer screening program. If you have any concerns or questions please discuss with the doctor.

Ovarian cancer

Currently there is no test that can be done to screen for ovarian cancer. If you have any concerns or questions please discuss with the doctor.

Help

You can get help about cancer screening and prevention from:

1. Doctor
2. State and National cancer screening organizations
Remember prevention is better than cure.
Author: Oceanside Private Practice
Tags: Cancer Screening

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