Screening services

Cancer screening can help detect cancer early, before it develops or symptoms appear.

Currently, there are three national cancer screening programs:

  • National Bowel Cancer Screening Program
  • BreastScreen Australia
  • National Cervical Screening Program

National Bowel Cancer Screening Program

Bowel cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in Australia. However, if detected early, approximately 90 per cent of cases can be cured. Bowel cancer affects both men and women.

  • Are you 50 years or over? Cancer Council Queensland recommends you are screened for bowel cancer with a faecal occult blood test (FOBT) every two years.
  • The National Bowel Cancer Screening Program currently provides a free screening test to eligible Australians to complete in the privacy of their own home.
  • If you have any symptoms or a family history of bowel cancer, speak to your GP.

BreastScreen Australia

Breast cancer affects more Australian women than any other cancer. Early detection of breast cancer provides the best chance of treatment and survival.

  • Aged 50–74? Cancer Council Queensland recommends you complete a free mammogram through BreastScreen Queensland every two years, in addition to regularly checking your breasts.
  • Women aged 40-49 and 75 years and older can also access free screening by contacting BreastScreen Queensland directly on 13 20 50.

National Cervical Screening Program

Cervical cancer incidence has halved in Australia since the 1991 introduction of the National Cervical Screening Program.

  • Cancer Council Queensland recommends a Pap smear test every two years for all women aged 18 to 70 years who have been sexually active, even if they have received the HPV vaccine.
  • Changes to the National Cervical Cancer Screening Program are due to be implemented from May 1, 2017. In the meantime, you should continue to have a Pap smear test every two years.

More information

For more information about National Cancer Screening Programs call Cancer Council on 13 11 20 .

The information available on this page should not be used as a substitute for advice from a properly qualified medical professional who can advise you about your own individual medical needs. It is not intended to constitute medical advice and is provided for general information purposes only. See our disclaimer.