At Western Victoria Primary Health Network we are committed to supporting optimal cancer care pathways and improving our cancer screening rates throughout the region, by working with primary health care professionals.

Cancer screening programs

Cancer screening is a preventative measure and detects early signs of cancer before symptoms are present. There are three national screening programs:

  1. National Bowel Cancer Screening Program
  2. BreastScreen Australia
  3. National Cervical Screening Program.

Optimal Care Pathways

Optimal Care Pathways (OCPs) are national guides that describe the best possible cancer care for patients with specific types of cancer. The pathways describe the key stages in a patient’s cancer journey, from diagnosis to survivorship or end-of-life care, and the expected optimal care at each stage to ensure all people diagnosed with cancer get the best care, regardless of where they live or have cancer treatment.

OCPs have been developed for 15 cancer types.  For each cancer pathway there are three versions:

  • A detailed clinical pathway for cancer specialists, health professionals and health service administrators
  • Quick reference guide for GPs – to familiarise GPs and primary care providers with the care pathway
  • Patient ‘what to expect’ guides – to assist patients and people affected by cancer to understand the care pathway and what to expect at each stage.

Western Victoria Primary Health Network are working with the Integrated Cancer Services to ensure the OCPs are embedded into standard practice across all services to improve the patient cancer care experiences.

Please refer to Grampians Integrated Cancer Service and Barwon South Western Regional Integrated Cancer Service for more details of their work.

For further information on the OCPs and the work being done, please visit the Victorian PHN Alliance website.  

Cancer support services

Cancer Council Victoria offer a range of free information and support services to help manage the impact of cancer for either you, your patients, their family, friends or colleagues on 13 11 20.

This call will link you to an experienced and understanding Cancer Council nurse for a confidential conversation about anything cancer related.

This may include:

  • Access to information
  • Connection with support services for financial, legal, workplace, transport, accommodation and respite needs
  • Finding out about one-on-one or group support from others who’ve been through similar experiences (over the phone, online or in person). 

Cancer Screening Quality Improvement Toolkit

Download the Cancer Screening Quality Improvement Toolkit 2019 (PDF)

Useful website and resources


For further information please contact:

Kirsten Hausknecht
Cancer Lead
Tel: 5304 5640