22 July 2022

Direct Access Colonoscopy (DAC) is currently available at Liverpool and Campbelltown Hospitals, and will be centralising the intake of referrals through the Triple I Hub on 1 August 2022 which is expected to reduce waiting times.

GPs can now refer patients with positive FOBT, conducted via the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program or through private pathology, directly for colonoscopy without first needing an appointment to see a gastroenterologist. The gastroenterologist will only see the patient on the day of colonoscopy.

The Direct Access Colonoscopy Service is available to patients who are:

  • FOBT positive result
  • 50 to 74 years
  • Living in Fairfield, Liverpool, Campbelltown, Camden, Wollondilly Local Government Areas
  • Meet referral criteria (download flyer)

Patients referred to the Direct Access Colonoscopy Clinic will be triaged, and if appropriate, allocated to the next available gastroenterologist. Healthy patients with minimal co-morbidities will be triaged directly to their colonoscopy. The DAC Coordinator will liaise directly with the GP and patient, and guide the patient through the entire process. Patients with chronic co-morbidities who are not suitable for Direct Access Colonoscopy will be scheduled for an appointment within the regular Gastroenterology Department and clinics, as per current practice.

From August 1, GPs must use the new Triple-I referral form completing the FOBT positive section and sending the completed form to the Triple I Hub so the referral is triaged appropriately. Incomplete referrals will be returned to the GP.

19 July 2022

What is Head and Neck Cancer and why is it different? 

Head and Neck Cancer (HNC) is not just one type of cancer. It includes more than 10 different cancers which can affect a person’s mouth, tongue, throat, salivary glands, skin or voice box.

The treatment for HNC can be brutal as it affects a person’s identity unlike any other cancer. It can leave a person unable to speak, with devastating facial disfigurements and take away basic abilities that we take for granted like eating, breathing, speaking, drinking and swallowing.

On the eve of Head and Neck Cancer Day – Wednesday, 27 July – let’s look at the facts:

  • There has been a 34 per cent increase in Head and Neck Cancer in the last 10 years
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are disproportionately impacted with a 30 per cent gap in survival rates compared to non-Indigenous Australians
  • 70 per cent of tonsil and base tongue cancer are caused by the human papillomavirus
  • There has been a 385 per cent increase in tongue cancer for otherwise healthy young women 
  • Men are three times more likely than women to be diagnosed

Head and Neck Cancer Australia is the only Australian charity dedicated to providing education and support to people living with HNC. It is a unique collaboration of patients, family members, carers and clinicians working to educate, support and reduce the cancer burden in some of the most disenfranchised cancer patients.

Learn more about Head and Neck Cancer

19 July 2022

About 800 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer in Australia each year, and about 80 per cent of these cases occur in women who have never screened or were not up-to-date with their screening.

Having regular screening tests is the best way to protect yourself.

Anyone eligible for a Cervical Screening Test under the National Cervical Screening Program now has the choice of screening either through self-collection of a vaginal sample using a simple swab or clinician-collection of a sample from the cervix using a speculum.

If you decide collecting your own sample is the best option for you, your healthcare provider will give you a swab and instructions on how to collect your sample. A self-collected sample is taken from the vagina (not the cervix). All you need to do is insert a swab a few centimetres into your vagina and rotate it for 20 to 30 seconds.

The sample can be taken in a private place within a healthcare clinic.

You should get a Cervical Screening Test every five years if you:

  • are aged between 25 and 74
  • have had any type of sexual contact (with any person, even of the same sex)
  • are a woman / person with a cervix

Find out more about self-collection for the Cervical Screening Test

18 July 2022

Rare Cancers Australia is a nationally registered charity aiming to improve the lives and health outcomes of people living with a rare, less common or complex cancer.

Common cancers are usually accompanied by an optimal care pathway.

This is not the case for people diagnosed with a rare, less common or complex cancer. It is an isolating position to be in as a patient, and one that many Australians with rare, less common and complex cancers face every day.

Rare Cancers Australia is sending the message: you are not alone!

The Patient Support Team at Rare Cancers Australia provides a ‘360 degree’ personalised support package which includes emotional, practical, clinical and financial aspects.

You can contact the Patient Support Team on 1800 257 600 or email [email protected] to speak with Specialist Cancer Navigators.

For more information:

07 July 2022

Bowel cancer is Australia’s second biggest cancer killer, but if detected early, more than 90 per cent of cases can be successfully treated.

Unfortunately, only 43.5 per cent of all eligible people aged 50 to 74 complete the bowel cancer screening kits sent to them every two years. If the participation rate could be increased to 60 per cent, 84,000 lives could be saved over the next 20 years.80% will rescreen -Get2it

Cancer Council Australia, in partnership with the Australian Government, has launched the Get2it national bowel cancer screening campaign to increase participation in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program.

The campaign will likely result in a greater number of enquiries to general practices about bowel cancer and screening. This presents an important opportunity for GPs and primary healthcare providers to endorse the program and support their patients’ participation.

GPs are vital in identifying patients who have never screened or are not up-to-date with their screening.

Research undertaken in 2021 by the Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer identified three types of people who are not participating in bowel screening: refusers, intenders and the FOBT naïve.

Each face specific barriers to participation and GPs and primary healthcare providers are critical in responding to these challenges.

Once people choose to screen, 80 per cent will screen again when next invited.

Cancer Council has produced a GP resource which can be used to identify the best approach to support these reluctant or hesitant screeners in choosing to screen, thereby contributing to improving screening program participation rates.

Download the GP resource to support reluctant and hesitant screeners

Find information for health professionals about bowel cancer screening

29 June 2022

The Australian Government Department of Health is seeking help from healthcare providers to increase participation in the national cancer screening programs (bowel, breast and cervical). 

We know cancer screening saves lives, but only around 50 per cent of Australians eligible for the national cancer screening programs – BreastScreen Australia, National Bowel Cancer Screening Program and National Cervical Screening Program – complete the tests.

Australians diagnosed through the national cancer screening programs are 59 per cent less likely to die from bowel cancer, 69 per cent less likely to die from breast cancer and 87 per cent less likely to die from cervical cancer compared to Australians diagnosed another way.

Research shows primary healthcare workers are key to motivating patients to participate in cancer screening.

From mid-June 2022, the department will begin distributing cancer screening packs to more than 8,000 general practices across Australia. The packs will include:

  • Three A3 posters, one for each national cancer screening program, with reminder messaging. Practices are asked to place these in waiting rooms and other places visible to patients to prompt a conversation with their healthcare provider about cancer screening.
  • Demonstration samples of the bowel cancer screening home test kit and the cervical screening self-collection swab – these can be used to show patients how to do the tests.
  • Information on how to use the cancer screening tests and where to find educational resources on cancer screening.

Information on cancer screening and resources for healthcare providers are available on the Department of Health website.

Information for your patients is available on Health Resource Directory:

24 June 2022

Cancer Council is seeking expressions of interest from community service organisations and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations to join its Tackling Tobacco program to help continue to decrease smoking rates in the local communities which require the most support.

no to smoking

Tackling Tobacco is a step-by-step program which aims to reduce smoking-related harm among priority populations which experience high levels of social and economic disadvantage.

Through Tackling Tobacco, Cancer Council helps organisations address smoking, and support people who access their services and their staff to quit.

The program is free to join and works by delivering training for staff and volunteers, providing a dedicated Cancer Council representative for 12 months, offering financial grants based on need, sharing resources and facilitating monthly steering group meetings.

To express your interest in joining the program, email [email protected], call 9334 1911 by Thursday, June 30. Alternatively, organisations can complete the Expression of Interest form.

Find out more

18 May 2022

Cancer Institute NSW has provided the following information:

World No Tobacco Day 

World No Tobacco Day is on Tuesday, 31 May. This year’s theme is Tobacco: threat to our environment. Throughout its lifecycle, tobacco pollutes the planet and damages the health of all people.

 

Harm and addiction caused by vaping

A systematic review of international evidence has found vaping increases the risk of multiple adverse health outcomes, including addiction, lung injury, poisoning and burns. NSW Health has developed a vaping resource toolkit to support conversations about vaping with parents, carers and young people.

 

NSW Cancer Plan 2022-2027 launched

Cancer outcomes in NSW are amongst the best in the world, but sadly one in two people in NSW will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. The NSW Cancer Plan provides a whole-of-sector perspective on cancer control. It describes how everyone will work together to deliver better outcomes. Importantly, it is a roadmap for how the health system, healthcare professionals, organisations and the whole community can deliver the best cancer care across NSW

Read about the NSW Cancer Plan

16 May 2022

Cancer Institute NSW has provided the following updates:

 
Primary care updates

Select the focus area you are interested in: Primary care updates

 
World No Tobacco Day

World No Tobacco Day is on Tuesday, 31 May. This year’s theme is Tobacco: threat to our environment. Throughout its lifecycle, tobacco pollutes the planet and damages the health of all people.

 
Harm and addiction caused by vaping

A systematic review of international evidence has found vaping increases the risk of multiple adverse health outcomes, including addiction, lung injury, poisoning and burns. NSW Health has developed a vaping resource toolkit to support conversations about vaping with parents, carers and young people.

 
NSW Cancer Plan 2022-2027 launched

Cancer outcomes in NSW are amongst the best in the world, but sadly one in two people in NSW will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. The NSW Cancer Plan provides a whole-of-sector perspective on cancer control. It describes how everyone will work together to deliver better outcomes. Importantly, it is a roadmap for how the health system, healthcare professionals, organisations and the whole community can deliver the best cancer care across NSW

Read about the NSW Cancer Plan

 
Integration of the National Cancer Screening Register with GP practice software

The National Cancer Screening Register (NCSR) is now integrated with Best Practice and Medical Director. It will also be integrated with Communicare in the coming months. Healthcare providers who integrate their Clinical Information System with the NCSR have better access to screening histories for their patients and can interact with the NCSR directly.

Learn more about how to integrate the NCSR with GP Practice Software

 
International Clinical Trials Day

International Clinical Trials Day is 20 May and presents as an opportunity to recognise the important role GPs play in raising awareness of cancer clinical trials. Participation in clinical trials can provide many benefits, including the potential for earlier access to promising interventions that are not yet widely available.

Learn more about Recruiting to cancer clinical trials in NSW and the search tool to identify cancer clinical trials, hospitals and contacts for clinical trials.

25 February 2022

Steptember has always been such a success at SWSPHN, we thought we’d expand our list of physical challenges by participating in this year’s March Charge!

Like Steptember, the March Charge motivates participants to get active while raising money for a really important cause – cancer research.

Fourteen SWSPHN staff have already signed up to the challenge.

 

What is the March Charge?

It’s a fun 31-day (1 to 31 March) fitness challenge which raises funds to help ‘charge ahead’ with cancer research. It’s also a perfect opportunity to get away from our screens, get active and improve our overall health and wellbeing.

You set yourself a steps goal and fundraising goal and walk or run your way towards that goal.

 

How does it work?

Choose to “charge” solo or get your friends, family, or colleagues together and do it as a team – it’s up to you.

Just by walking or running and raising funds, you’ll be helping the Cancer Council “charge” ahead with cancer research.

Visit the Cancer Council website to find out more about how your fundraising will help.

READY, SET … register as an individual or team and let’s MARCH!

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