Participation data

National Bowel Cancer Screening Program

Participation rates represent the percentage of people invited to screen through the NBCSP during the relevant 2-year period, who returned a completed screening test within that period or by 30 June of the following year. The number of individuals invited to screen excludes those who deferred or opted out without completing their screening test. As 2-yearly screening was only fully rolled out from 2020, the specific ages invited within the 50–74 age group for the periods covered in this report are shown in the section ‘National Bowel Cancer Screening Program age groups invited by year’.

BreastScreen Australia

Participation rates represent the percentage of women in the population aged 50–74 screened by BreastScreen Australia over 2 calendar years. The population denominator was the average of ABS Estimated Resident Population (ERP) for females aged 50–74 in 2019 and 2020.

BreastScreen Australia changed its target age group from 50–69 years to 50–74 years from July 2013; participation is reported for both the previous and current target age groups to allow comparison of trends with previously reported data.

National Cervical Screening Program

Participation in the NCSP is estimated until 5 years of data are available to calculate 5-year participation. This is defined as the percentage of people in the population aged 25–74 who had at least one cervical screening test (primary screening or 12-month repeat HPV test) in 2018 to 2020. Participation rates were calculated using the ABS Estimated Resident Population (ERP) for people aged 25–74 in 2018,2019, and 2020, adjusted to exclude the estimated proportion of women who have had a hysterectomy.

In this report the term ‘people’ is used to describe participants in the NCSP. In this context the term ‘people’ is defined as any person with a cervix—this may include women, transgender men, intersex people, and non-binary people.

Rounding

Some numbers may be presented rounded to the nearest whole number for percentages, or to the nearest 100 or 1,000 in text. The exact figures are available in the Excel data tables, csv data files and Tableau visualisations.

State or territory

For data on the National Cervical Screening Program (from 2018 onwards), and the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program, state or territory refers to the state or territory of residence.

For data on BreastScreen Australia, and the National Cervical Screening Program prior to 2018, state or territory refers to the state or territory in which screening occurred, not the state or territory of residence.

National Bowel Cancer Screening Program age groups invited by year

Two-yearly screening was only fully rolled out from 2020. The specific ages invited within the 50–74 age for the periods covered in this report are shown in the following table:

National Bowel Cancer Screening Program ages invited by year

Phase

Start date

End date

Ages invited

1

7 August 2006

30 June 2008

55 and 65

2

1 July 2008

30 June 2011(a)

50, 55 and 65

2(b)

1 July 2011

30 June 2013

50, 55 and 65

3

1 July 2013

Ongoing

50, 55, 60 and 65

4

1 January 2015

31 December 2015

50, 55, 60, 65, 70 and 74

4

1 January 2016

31 December 2016

50, 55, 60, 64, 65, 70, 72 and 74

4

1 January 2017

31 December 2017

50, 54, 55, 58, 60, 64, 68, 70, 72 and 74

4

1 January 2018

31 December 2018

50, 54, 58, 60, 62, 64, 66, 68, 70, 72 and 74

4

1 January 2019

Ongoing

50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60, 62, 64, 66, 68, 70, 72 and 74

 

  1. Eligible birth dates, and thus invitations, ended on 31 December 2010.
  2. Ongoing NBCSP funding commenced.

Note: The eligible population for all Phase 2 and 3 start dates incorporate all those turning the target ages from 1 January of that year onwards.