Cancer screening in Tweed well above state levels

Northern NSW Local Health District chief executive Chris Crawford.
Northern NSW Local Health District chief executive Chris Crawford. Jacklyn Wagner

A REPORT on breast screening has revealed that the Tweed had the second highest participation rate in the state.

Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSW LHD) chief executive Chris Crawford said the North Coast Cancer Institute (NCCI) and NSW Cancer Institute work collaboratively to improve key performance indicators as part of the Reporting for Better Cancer Outcomes program.

"A range of information is collected and analysed by the NSW Cancer Institute and is then reported back to the NNSW LHD with a comparison of the result with the NSW state average, so that future quality projects can be targeted," Mr Crawford said.

The cervical screening rates and the number of pap tests conducted by the Women's Health Nurses, and the percentage of pap tests performed on under-screened women for NNSW LHD were all higher than the NSW average.

Breast screening rates in the target range of 50-69 year olds were higher than the NSW average for the NNSW LHD as a whole.

NNSW LHD executive medical director Dr Ian Fielding said colorectal surgery rates were part of the Cancer Treatments Variations Report, 2007-2010 that provides analysis of the LHD's activity levels for a select number of cancer diagnoses considered to be complex and have a known volume/outcome relationship.

That means the lower the volume performed at a facility the likely poorer the outcome for the patients due to a range of factors.

"The NSW Cancer Institute has been driving discussions with key clinicians and LHD representatives across NSW to determine the optimal model for providing surgery to patients with rarer cancers requiring complex care," Dr Fielding said.

Mr Crawford said the intention was to further improve the services already provided and to ensure that patients in the NNSW LHD can access the optimal care regardless of their place of residence.

"This will ultimately contribute to an improvement in overall cancer outcomes for patients living in our region," Mr Crawford said.

Topics:  cancer screening participation rate

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