Primary healthcare practitioners play a key role in improving cancer screening rates and reducing cancer risks.

Screening for cancer is a preventative measure and detects early signs of disease. This can be either before a cancer has developed or in its early stages before symptoms occur, when early interventions can be most successful. Research shows patients are more likely to participate in screening programs after talking with their general practitioner.

Cancer screening programs

Currently, there are three national screening programs:

Community-led cancer screening

Western Victoria PHN (WVPHN) is part of the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services’ three-year Community-led Cancer Screening Program (2018-2020).

The program aims to increase early detection of bowel, cervical and breast cancer by building capacity to increase participation in these screening programs within primary care settings and through targeted community-led interventions.

WVPHN is supporting primary health services in the catchment to consider quality improvement activities to raise awareness of the importance of screening. An evaluation report on each of the initiatives will be prepared and released in 2020.

WVPHN, in partnership with Murray PHN and North West Melbourne PHN, has developed a cancer screening quality improvement toolkit.

Cervical cancer screening resource

WVPHN in partnership with Cancer Council Victoria has developed the Cervical Screening in Primary Health guide on how to successfully incorporate cervical screening in a primary care setting. The guide provides a comprehensive insight focusing on quality improvement and business sustainability for general practice clinics, community health centres, women’s health services, sexual health services and Aboriginal health services.

Other resources

More information

Contact your practice facilitator

Last modified: 8 December, 2020

Cancer Screening Webinars

Head to our PHN Learn Channel on YouTube to access the latest cancer screening webinars.


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