Cancer screening is a preventative measure that can detect cancer early when interventions can be most successful. General practice plays a key role in the promotion and awareness of cancer screening to maximise screening participation rates and reduce cancer risks. There are many risk factors for cancers that general practice can explore with patients. The identification of patients who may be at increased risk of developing cancer, the provision of tailored advice and supplying or supporting access to cancer screening is essential for reducing cancer risks for patients.

Murray PHN supports general practices to establish effective practice systems which improve cancer screening rates, including:

  • improving recall and reminder systems
  • promotion of the National Cancer Screening Register (NCSR)
  • strategies to increase participation
  • using medical software to identify at-risk patient cohorts
  • data cleansing and analysis
  • staff education
  • sourcing patient information resources.

There are three national screening programs:

  1. National Bowel Cancer Screening Program
  2. BreastScreen Australia
  3. National Cervical Screening Program

The National Cancer Screening Register (NCSR) is a national database that enables general practices to access real-time screening information and manage patient participation in the National Cervical Screening Program and National Bowel Cancer Screening Program through secure online portals and integrated clinical software. To learn more, watch this video or visit the National Cancer Screening Register.

Cancer screening resources

Other practical resources


For more information

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Last Update: May 16th, 2024