More care needed for cancer screening: Cancer Council

Cancer information and support

Only 39 per cent of eligible Central Queensland, Sunshine Coast and Wide Bay residents are participating in bowel cancer screening, and fewer than 60 per cent are taking part in breast and cervical cancer screening, new stats show.

Cancer screening in Australia by Primary Health Network*, released by the AIHW, provides a report card for each Primary Health Network on the three free national cancer screening programs currently available.

The data shows around 57 per cent of eligible Central Queensland, Sunshine Coast and Wide Bay women participate in breast screening, and more than 55 per cent get a pap smear every two years.

This compares to a national average of 54 per cent across all age groups for breast screening, and over 57 per cent for cervical screening, with bowel screening lagging behind at just 37 per cent.

Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift called on Central Queensland, Sunshine Coast and Wide Bay locals to make cancer screening a priority.

“It’s crucial that all Central Queensland, Sunshine Coast and Wide Bay locals participate in recommended cancer screening – the earlier we detect cancer, the better the prognosis,” Ms Clift said.

“We need more eligible Queenslanders to make the effort to participate in recommended screening – it could save your life.

“We know that regular pap smears are the best way to detect cervical cancer early.

“It’s crucial that all eligible Queensland women prioritise regular pap smears and get screened every two years.

“When it comes to breast cancer screening, women aged 50-74 should have a mammogram every two years through BreastScreen Queensland.

“Women at a high risk or with a family history should discuss their screening options with a GP.

“The National Bowel Cancer Screening program currently invites men and women turning 50, 55, 60, 64, 65, 70, 72 and 74 to screen.

“Participants are sent a free, easy to use screening kit that can be completed at home. It’s important that if you receive a kit, you use it.”

Up to one third of all cancers can be prevented through simple lifestyle changes including participating in recommended cancer screening.

Around 2000 South West Queenslanders are diagnosed with cancer each year, and about 660 die from the disease, the latest Cancer Council data shows.

More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available via 13 11 20 or


For more information or interviews, please contact:
Katie Clift,
Executive Manager,
Media and Spokesperson,
Cancer Council Queensland
Phone: (07) 3634 5372
Mobile: 0409 001 171