Over 2000 women in NSW aged 50-74 may have breast cancer and not know it, data from BreastScreen NSW shows.
BreastScreen NSW is today launching a campaign to FIND the NSW 2000 by encouraging all women aged 50-74 to have a screening mammogram every two years.
Screening mammograms can detect breast cancer early and increase chances of survival, but BreastScreen NSW spokesperson Associate Professor Nirmala Pathmanathan says over 400,000 women across the state have not had their recommended screening mammogram in the past two years.
“We need to significantly increase the numbers of women screening and in turn reduce the numbers of women dying from this disease,” says Associate Professor Pathmanathan.
“Breast cancer is the second biggest cancer killer of Australian women, yet only half of all eligible women in the BreastScreen NSW target age group are being screened regularly.”
Comedian, writer and performer Jean Kittson, a long time advocate for women’s health issues, is encouraging more women to take up the free service.
“Breast screening is an important diagnostic tool that can detect breast cancer in its early stages which improves the rate of survival," she says.
"Better still, breast screening is free, it is readily available, and it takes about 20 minutes for the actual screening process.
"The coffee and cake you have afterwards will take longer.
“I always go with a friend and we find that doing it gives you an enormous sense of having done something positive, for yourself and your loved ones. Then we go out for that piece of cake.”
Where are we looking?
Launching 11 April, BreastScreen NSW will be going local in their effort to FIND the NSW 2000, focusing on 10 regional areas across the state.
Data from BreastScreen NSW has allowed the 2000 women to be located in key Sydney and NSW areas where the campaign can speak directly with the local community on the importance of breast screening.
The locations include:
- Campbelltown – there are approximately 50 women with breast cancer who have not been screened
- Blue Mountains – approximately 50
- Auburn – approximately 30
- Canterbury – approximately 50
- Sydney City – approximately 50
- Central Coast – approximately 120
- Bondi – approximately 20
- Maitland – approximately 20
- Far West – approximately 10
- Northern Rivers – approximately 100
BreastScreen NSW has screening locations at 200 sites across the state including mobile screening vans and fixed-place screening centres, and all radiographers are female.
Have your free mammogram today