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Cancer Screening & Prevention

Cancer screening is essential for early detection and better treatment outcomes.

 

The recommended screenings vary based on age, gender, and risk factors.

 

Below is a summary of the recommended cancer screenings for the general population in Australia, along with symptoms to watch out for and when to book to see your GP.

Individuals with a family history of cancer or other risk factors may need a tailored screening program.Regardless of age or screening schedule, see your GP promptly if you notice any unusual symptoms.

Skin Cancer

For Men and Women:

All Ages: Skin checks by a doctor (every 6-24 months depending on risk, your GP can advise), particularly if at high risk (e.g., fair skin, history of sunburn, family history). Regular self examinations at home, monitor for changing lesions.

Symptoms to Watch For, which may require a skin check:

•  New growths or sores that don't heal

•  Changes in existing moles (size, shape, colour, texture)

•  Moles that itch, bleed, or become painful

•  Spread of pigment beyond the border of a mole

•  Friends or family are worried about a mole

Book your skin check online here or by calling reception during office hours.

Reference: https://www.cancer.org.au/about-us/policy-and-advocacy/position-statements/uv/early-detection

Bowel Cancer

For Men and Women:

•  Age 45-74: Faecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) every 2 years.

•  Under 45: Screening based on individual risk factors; discuss with your GP.

Symptoms to Watch For, which may require testing:

•  Changes in bowel habits (diarrhoea, constipation, or narrowing of stool)

•  Blood in the stool or rectal bleeding

•  Persistent abdominal discomfort (cramps, gas, pain)

•  Unexplained weight loss

•  Weakness or fatigue

Book a consult to discuss your bowel health online here or by calling reception during office hours.

Your GP or our registered Nurses can provide you with a FOBT home test kit.

How to do the kit can be read here.

Reference: https://www.health.gov.au/our-work/national-bowel-cancer-screening-program/about-the-national-bowel-cancer-screening-program

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Breast Cancer

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For Women:

•  Age 50-74: Mammogram every 2 years.

•  Age 40-49 and 75+: Optional; discuss with your GP.

Symptoms to Watch For, which may require testing:

•  Lumps or thickening in the breast or underarm

•  Changes in breast size or shape

•  Nipple discharge or inversion

•  Skin changes on the breast (redness, dimpling, scaling)

Book a consult to discuss your breast health online here or by calling reception during office hours.

You can book your screening mammogram online directly with Breast Screen NSW by clicking here

 

Reference: https://www.breastscreen.nsw.gov.au

Cervical Cancer

For Women:

•  Age 25-74: Cervical Screening Test (CST, previously known as Pap smear) every 5 years.

•  Under 25: First test at age 25 unless symptoms are present or at high risk.

•  Over 74: Optional, based on previous screening history and discussion with your GP.

CST can now be performed by your GP or in the practice rooms under the guidance of your GP you can do a self collect, for information on how to do the self collect, click here.

Symptoms to Watch For, which may require testing:

•  Unusual vaginal bleeding (after intercourse, between periods, or post-menopause)

•  Pain during intercourse

•  Unusual vaginal discharge

•  Pelvic pain

Book a consult to get your CST done by your GP and to discuss if you are eligible for self collect screening test ; online by clicking here or by ringing reception during office hours.

Reference: https://www.health.gov.au/our-work/national-cervical-screening-program/getting-a-cervical-screening-test

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Prostate Cancer

For Men:

•  Age 50-69: Optional; discuss PSA test benefits and risks with your doctor.

•  Age 70+: Not routinely recommended but discuss with your GP if at high risk.

Symptoms to Watch For, which may require testing:

•  Difficulty urinating or a weak urine stream

•  Frequent urination, especially at night

•  Blood in urine or semen

•  Pain in the hips, back, or pelvis

•  Erectile dysfunction

Book a consult to discuss your prostate health online here or by calling reception during office hours.

Reference: clinical-practice-guidelines-for-psa-testing-and-early-management-of-test-detected-prostate-cancer

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The National Cancer Screening Registry

Follow this link to update your details and check if you are due for your bowel cancer screening and/ or cervical screening, alternatively you can contact the registry directly by phoning 1800 627 701.

The above information has been summarised as per Australian NSW guidelines up to date from 1st July 2024, by Dr Brianna Joseph, who recommends using the guide as a starting point to discuss cancer screening with your own GP.

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