Screen For Me Social Cover

Innovative community campaign aims to empower Latrobe community members to ask their loved ones to ‘Screen For Me’

Latrobe Valley residents are being urged to highlight the importance of early detection by asking their loved ones to screen for common cancers in a new Screen For Me campaign.

The campaign was launched in Traralgon today by the Member for Eastern Victoria, Harriet Shing.  

“Cancer survival is at an all-time high, but too many people are still dying from the disease. That’s why we have an ambitious plan to save more lives and invest in more research to one day find a cure,” Ms Shing said.

“Early diagnosis is the key to surviving cancer. We’re making it easier for people in Gippsland to access free cancer screening. I urge everyone not to wait – start a Screen for Me conversation with your loved ones today.”

Developed locally as part of the Victorian Government’s Latrobe Health Innovation Zone program, the new campaign features local community members of all ages asking their loved ones to ‘Screen For Me’.

This campaign aims to empower the community to make a difference by encouraging their friends and family to be proactive in looking after their health as early detection saves lives.

Screening tests look for particular changes and early signs before cancer has developed or before any symptoms emerge.

The National Cancer Screening Programs for bowel, breast and cervical cancers have been established to detect cancers at an early stage, when treatment is likely to be more effective.

“Cancer has an enormous impact on our community, but this needn’t be the case,” Gippsland Primary Health Network Chief Executive Officer Amanda Proposch said.

“Statistics show many Latrobe residents don’t take advantage of free cancer screening and that is something that Gippsland PHN is working to change.”

“Around three quarters of all breast cancers occur in women over the age of 50. BreastScreen targets its program to women aged 50-74 because research shows that screening is most effective in detecting early breast cancer in women in this age group.

“Bowel cancer is Australia’s second biggest cancer killer after lung cancer, but if found early 90 per cent of cases can be successfully treated. Screening saves lives,” Ms Proposch said.

Bowel cancer is the second most common cancer among Latrobe Valley women and the third most common cancer among men. The National Bowel Screening Program invites men and women aged 50 to 74 to screen every two years with the at home test kit, yet 12,000 Latrobe residents are not up to date.

The Screen For Me campaign also aims to raise the profile of the new five-yearly cervical screening test for women aged between 25 and 74, which has replaced the two-yearly Pap test. The new test screens for the human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes most cervical cancers, and is expected to protect up to 30 per cent more women. Women should have the test even if they’ve had an HPV vaccine.

“We hope Screen For Me reminds people that we all can have a positive influence on each other’s health by encouraging our friends and family to be proactive in their health and making sure that they are up to date with the National Screening Programs,” Ms Proposch said. “We are asking our community to say to them, if you haven’t screened for yourself, then screen for me.”

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 Screen For Me is part of an innovative three-year project designed to improve the long-term health and wellbeing of Latrobe Valley residents. Funded by the Victorian Government as part of the Latrobe Health Innovation Zone, and managed by Gippsland PHN, the project works with the community and local health providers to help increase participation in screening for preventable cancers.