The Griffith LHAC recognises the importance of screening to detect early cancer symptoms before they develop.
Unfortunately, screening rates dropped during the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted from lockdown restrictions, and saw some services such as BreastScreen Australia temporarily suspended.
Fortunately, data reveals that program participation in bowel cancer screening rates was maintained and COVID-19 did not appear to disrupt at-home screening for people aged 50 to 74 years.
In comparison, there was a marked decrease in the number of human papillomavirus tests conducted during the two COVID-19 pandemic waves.
This can be attributed to the requirement for most cervical screening to be conducted in person by a clinician for women aged 25 to 74 years.
Due to the suspension of breast screening services for a period in 2020, some 74,000 fewer screening mammograms were performed than in the same period in 2018.
There is no alternative screening method to avoid in-person visits for mammograms for 50 to 74 year old women.
For breast cancer, early detection and treatment is key to improved survival and longer-term quality of life.
These programs are available free of charge and this is a timely reminder that if you are eligible for a screening test, have received an invitation to screen or have a free home test kit, then please don't hesitate to make an appointment.
Cancer screening saves lives and is one of the most effective ways to detect early signs of cancer.
For more information visit www.cancer.org.au or contact LHAC chairwoman Margaret King on 0409 815 901.
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