Please DO NOT DELETE this page.

Blog //
  • Wellbeing

The cancer screenings available to you right now

22 August, 2019
Cancer screening center

While we’re passionate advocates for helping you live a cancer-smart lifestyle, unfortunately, sometimes despite all the best prevention, cancer will still strike. However, your chances of survival and effective treatment are much, much higher if your cancer is detected early. It’s particularly important to be screened for cancers where you meet the risk factors e.g. family history. 

What cancer screening programs are out there in Australia and how can you access them?

Bowel cancer

Around one in 23 Australians will get bowel cancer in their lifetime, and sadly, around 100 will pass away from bowel cancer each week. Bowel cancer symptoms typically appear late, but if detected early, 90% of bowel cancers can be treated.

You have more risk of developing bowel cancer if you are:

  • 50+ years old
  • Have a family history of bowel cancer
  • Have a personal history involving cancer of the colon, rectum, ovaries, endometrium or breast
  • Have colon polyps, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis or type 2 diabetes
  • Have a poor diet

How do I get screened?
The screening process for bowel cancer is no longer scary or messy! In fact, a free and simple at-home test is available. This year, the National Bowel Screening Program is still being phased in with people of certain ages between 50-74 being invited to participate. By 2020, all eligible people aged 50-74 will be able to take part in two-yearly screenings. If you agree to take part, the Program will send you the at-home test kit. What the test − called the immunochemical faecal occult blood test (iFOBT) − looks for is invisible traces of blood in your stool.

If you test positive, your GP will refer you for further tests, e.g. a colonoscopy. Even if you get a positive result, it’s important to do your tests every two years or talk to your doctor immediately if you develop bowel cancer symptoms

If you aren’t eligible for the free national screening program but have concerns or symptoms, speak with your GP about what testing you need.

Learn more

Breast cancer

The chance of a woman in Australia developing breast cancer is one in eight. It’s the most common cancer affecting women in Australia (besides non-melanoma skin cancer) and the second most common cancer to cause death in women, behind lung cancer. However, if found early, common forms of breast cancer generally have a good prognosis. When breast cancer is diagnosed through screening, it also reduces your chances of needing a mastectomy, which is breast removal surgery.

You have more risk of developing breast cancer if you:

  • Are 50+
  • Have a family history of breast cancer
  • Were older at the time of your first childbirth
  • Have had hyperplasia
  • Use birth control pills
  • Have experienced weight gain or are at an unhealthy weight range
  • Have high breast density

How do I get screened?
Breast cancer screening takes place through a process called a mammogram, which is a low-dose breast x-ray. Even if you’re great at doing your regular breast checks, a mammogram can find cancers that are too small to feel.

All women aged 40 to 74 years have free access to the BreastScreen Australia program. Once you turn 50, you’re encouraged to have a free mammogram every two years. Simply call 13 20 50 to organise a free mammogram.

Mammograms are not recommended for women under 40, so if this is you and you have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, or are worried about symptoms, talk to your GP to discuss the most appropriate care.

If your mammogram returns an abnormality, you’ll be referred for further tests to identify if there’s cause for concern.

Learn more

Prostate cancer

One in seven Australian men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. It’s the second most common men’s cancer in our country. Tragically, around 3,500 Australian men die of prostate cancer each year.

You're more at risk of developing prostate cancer if you

  • Are 50+ years old
  • Have a family history of prostate, breast or ovarian cancer
  • Have a poor diet

How do I get screened?
Many men are hesitant to be screened for prostate cancer, but there’s no need to be, as a simple blood test can be the first step. This test will find your prostate specific antigen levels. A digital rectal exam is now longer recommended for men who don’t show symptoms.

If you would like to be screened via blood test, or are showing symptoms of prostate cancer, speak to your GP about next steps.

Learn more

Cervical cancer

Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable cancers. One in 162 women will be diagnosed in their lifetime. Since a national screening program for cervical cancer began in 1991, the death rate for this cancer has halved.

You're more at risk of developing cervical cancer if you

  • Have had persistent infections of the human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Are a smoker

How do I get screened?
You might be familiar with the two-yearly pap smear program, but this has since changed. From December 2017, the Australian Government introduced an updated screening program. The test is now better, and this means you will only need to be screened every five years, starting from age 25. A GP will be able to perform this simple screening test, which will feel the same to you as a pap smear. See your GP if you have any symptoms or to find out your next recommended screening date.

Learn more

What will it cost me to be screened?

Ask your health care provider if they can a bulk bill you for any services, as a Medicare cardholder. Also, CBHS members with Extras or package cover (except FlexiSaver) are eligible for wellness benefits on health checks and health management services:

  • For health checks, a member may claim a benefit of 90% of the cost of service, up to any relevant limit per service and the overall limit of $200 ($100 for KickStart) in a calendar year.
  • For health management (not including gym membership and personal training), a member may claim a benefit of 90% of the cost of the service up to any relevant limit per service and the overall limit of $100 in a calendar year.

Note - A benefit is not payable in respect of a service that was rendered to a member if the services can be claimable from any other source.

More information

All information contained in this article is intended for general information purposes only. The information provided should not be relied upon as medical advice and does not supersede or replace a consultation with a suitably qualified Health Care Professional.


Suggested Articles

  • An image of nutrient-rich vegetarian Mexican bow

    Mexican in a bowl

    If you can’t go out for Mexican, make it at home! This nutrient-rich vegetarian Mexican bowl is a quick and easy dinner.
    • Nutrition
    19 May 2020
  • Private Hospital Benefits at Healthscope Group Hospitals

    Private Hospital Benefits at Healthscope Group Hospitals

    CBHS has agreements with over 500 private hospitals across Australia including the Healthscope Group of Hospitals (Healthscope).
    • Membership
    18 May 2020
  • 2003_COVID19_Blog-08

    Financial assistance to members who hold Extras cover

    Here is what we are doing to support our members from both a health and financial perspective through the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • News
    • Membership
    6 May 2020
  • 2003_COVID19_Blog-08

    CBHS COVID-19 Health and Financial Assistance Program

    Here is what we are doing to support our members from both a health and financial perspective through the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • News
    • Membership
    27 April 2020

What Our Members Think

I joined as a CBHS member in 1978. Through many health events and challenges CBHS has always been there for me and my family. Their exceptional service over this time has always been appreciated.

- Jenny J

What Our Members Think

I've not long joined CBHS from another fund, but so far I've been impressed by the super helpful and friendly staff, the higher claim limits and rebates at a very competitive premium, and how easy it is to lodge manual claims through the app. Thanks CBHS - you've won me over! 😃

- Jessica B

What Our Members Think

What I love about CBHS is their customer service - friendly staff and always ready to help and email you the information you ask about. Keep up the great work!!!

- Linda S

What Our Members Think

I love CBHS as its so so easy to lodge a claim and whenever i need a question answered friendly consultant is one phone call away. The phone back option instead of waiting is brilliant!

- Rachel N

What Our Members Think

I have been with CBHS since I began at CBA 15 years ago...Now I have three beautiful children, one who has a disability. Our top extras cover has been really essential for his early intervention. I do love the ease of claiming online.

- Annette E

What Our Members Think

I am relatively new to CBHS and am loving it already. I worked for a CBA subsidiary a long time ago but was still eligible to join. So much better that the for-profit funds - our premium is only a little more and we pay a lower co-contribution and get great benefits. I am loving the massage rebate for my partner and gym rebate for me!

- David G

What Our Members Think

I'm extremely happy with CBHS! I have been a customer for about six years. I think the price is reasonable. And i would refer you to my family and friends any day. Thank you CBHS!!!

- Karen W

What Our Members Think

Love CBHS as I never have to doubt that they've got my back when I need it. Been through other insurers who have limited options or limits, yet cost the same or more.

- Mark F