The announcement by the Federal Government of a new National Cancer Screening Register has been welcomed by Pathology Australia as an important first step in Australia leading the way in the management of women’s health globally.
Liesel Wett, CEO of Pathology Australia, said the Register, which is aimed at saving more lives through increased detection, treatment and prevention of some of the country’s biggest killers, was an important cancer prevention measure.
“This is a great initiative in women’s health and more broadly in public health generally,” Ms Wett said today.
“The Register underscores the critical role pathologists play in diagnosing and detecting this disease. It recognises that pathologists are an essential part of the overall process involved in managing cancer.
“The Register will monitor the effectiveness, quality and safety of screening and diagnoses associated with bowel cancer and cervical cancer.”
Ms Wett said the Register will replace eight separate State and Territory cervical cancer registers and the current bowel screening system.
“Centralising these registers makes sense and will increase efficiency as well as helping to better co-ordinate treatment,” she said.
“Having the cervical cancer registers and the bowel screening registers brought together into the one central Register can only further improve the rates of early detection. This will further cement Australia’s position as a world leader in the early detection of cancers. And of course such early detection helps to save more lives.”
Cervical cancer claims the lives of 250 women a year despite being one of the most preventable cancers. Currently, 80 per cent of women with cervical cancer have not been screened or have not had regular screening.
“Pathology Australia sees the formation of the National Register as an opportunity to support women on the importance of undergoing screening for cervical cancer. We need to lift the rate of screening and save more women’s lives,” she said.
The Minister for Health, Sussan Ley, has announced that legislation to make this public health strategy a reality is being presented to the Parliament for debate and support.