Early detection and cancer screening
Cancer screening and health checkups save lives. They allow for early treatment and intervention, which increases the likelihood of better health outcomes.
The Victorian Cancer Registry reported a drop in reportable cancer diagnoses between April 2020 and March 2022. This does not indicate / correspond to a decrease in cancer disease burden. Instead, it points to a drop in health-seeking behaviours (getting health checks and cancer screenings, for example), possibly due to impacts of COVID-19.
VACCHO’s aim is to encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to get cancer screening and health checkups to help improve the health and wellbeing of Community.
Don’t miss a moment
A Community focused initiative dedicated to improving health outcomes by encouraging mob to get health checkups and cancer screening.
Cancer screening means doing a test to find out if there is a potential that cancer present in the body or there is a chance cancer may develop.
Cancer screening helps find cancers early, leading to early intervention and access to treatment. Finding cancers early can also decrease the amount of treatment a patient might have to go through and increase the likelihood of better health outcomes and survival.
There are three national cancer screening programs that are available. Check if you are eligible below.
|Screening type||Age||Who is eligible|
|Bowel cancer screening||50 – 74 years old||All people within the screening age|
|Breast cancer screening||
50 – 74 years old
Abroriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are eligible from 40 years old with the Beautiful Shawl Project
|Women (including trans women) and non-binary people assigned female at birth. More information here.|
|Cervical cancer screening||25 – 74 years old||Women and people with a cervix.|
Note: Screening is only available for those without cancer symptoms – if you have symptoms, call your GP or Aboriginal Health Service. Learn more about symptoms here.
It is important to remember that there is no shame when it comes to screening. It is something that lots of people in Community do to stay healthy and have peace of mind.
Finding cancer early via cancer screening can lead to better health outcomes and a better chance of survival.
To learn more about cancer screening, get in contact with your GP or Aboriginal Health service. You can also find more information about cancer screening via the links below.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people that have a Medicare card have access to a free health checkup (often referred to as a 715) each year. These health checkups can be accessed via Aboriginal health services or bulk billing GPs.
A 715 health checkup may take around an hour and is a very thorough health check. Typically, Mob who have a health checkup will see an Aboriginal health worker, a nurse, then a doctor.
During the health checkup they will check your height, weight, blood pressure and blood glucose (sugar) levels, and maybe get you to take a urine test, and ask about your family and what illnesses they may have had.
After your health checkup, you may be referred to access up to 10 free follow-up services if needed, such as:
• specialists or another health services
• social and emotional wellbeing services
• other allied health services including physiotherapy, dental, ear health, eye health and more. .
Learn more about health checkups here, or by contacting your GP or Aboriginal health service.