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New AIHW data shows impact of COVID-19 on cancer screening

The article was originally posted on LinkedIn by Barry Sandison, AIHW CEO.

'Timeliness’ is a word that has been repeatedly used when it comes to data since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the long-term effects of the pandemic are still uncertain, COVID-19 has demonstrated the importance of using robust and timely data to inform effective decision-making.

I’m very pleased to announced today’s new AIHW report, Cancer screening and COVID-19 in Australia, also during #BreastCancerAwarenessMonth.

The report brings together data for the period of January to June 2020 on the 3 national screening programs—BreastScreen Australia, the National Cervical Screening Program, and the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program.

It builds on previous reporting from the AIHW which showed that people with breast, cervical and bowel cancers detected through national screening programs have improved cancer survival outcomes than those diagnosed but who had never been screened.

Well done to the teams involved—today’s release is just one of the many steps we are taking to address the issue of data timeliness.

For more information on cancer screening and treatment, see the following reports: 

Keep an eye out for Part 2 of the report which will be released early next year.

Listen to the AIHW ‘Behind the data’ podcast episode on this report. 

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