Cancer Won’t Wait

Many of us have been lying low due to COVID-19 and we’ve all been putting off things lately whether by choice or not (my wild hair isn’t by choice, for the record). However, the clear message from Cancer Australia is that Cancer Won’t Wait. It’s a timely reminder to keep on top of our regular cancer checks.

In this short article, we’ve put together urgent symptoms first and following that up with a short list of regular cancer screenings that Cancer Australia wants you to keep on top of.

Urgent cancer symptoms

According to Cancer Australia, you need to contact your trusted GP if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Coughing up blood, or new or changed cough that doesn’t go away
  • A change in bowel or bladder habit, including bleeding
  • Any breast change, including a lump
  • Unexplained vaginal bleeding
  • A changing or new mole
  • Persistent unexplained pain
  • New lump or swelling
  • Unexplained weight loss or tiredness.

If you’re still hesitant to visit your GP face-to-face, you could always set up a Medicare telehealth consultation with them.

Cancer screening

Not that you should wait until you have symptoms to get your regular cancer checks. Early detection could save your life and that’s why cancer screening is so effective.

BreastScreen Australia Program

Women who are 50 to 74 years of age have a free mammogram every two years.

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National Cervical Screening Program

Women who are 25 to 74 years of age have a bulk-billed (if your GP bulk bills) cervical screening test every five years.

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National Bowel Cancer Screening Program

We wrote about this in June but as a reminder, people starting at age 50 (without symptoms) are sent an invitation in the mail to receive a free at home test every two years. It’s worthwhile doing and now is as good a time as any to do a test from home.

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Bonus resource

Navigate common cancer symptoms with Cancer Australia’s interactive body map.

Chemo at Home

Did you know that if you are covered on Peoplecare’s hospital cover for chemotherapy, you can get your chemo treatment at home? It’s a nice touch for what is a pretty disruptive treatment.

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