Cancer Council has backed an Australian-first trial announced by BreastScreen Queensland today, involving more than 2000 women who have been pre-booked for free mammographic screening.
Letters have been sent to a selection of Queensland women, notifying them of their pre-booked appointment time at a mobile van or BreastScreen Service Centre, using the latest digital mammography technology.
Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift hoped the trial would lead to an increase in Queensland women accessing free BreastScreen services.
“Only 57 per cent of eligible Queensland women currently get free mammograms every two years,” Ms Clift said.
“While some women are screened privately, there is concern that many others may be missing out or failing to follow up on reminder notices.
“Knowing that an appointment has already been made and set aside will make it much easier for many women to participate in breast screening.
“Women screened by BreastScreen Queensland have better survival than those not screened, even after adjusting for tumour stage, and the survival benefits of mammographic screening remain consistent across Queensland, regardless of where women live.”
Cancer Council Queensland recommends women aged 50-74 have a mammogram every two years through BreastScreen Queensland.
“Queensland women should be breast aware and familiarise themselves with the normal look and feel of their breasts,” Ms Clift said.
“All women should also see a doctor immediately if they notice any unusual breast changes.”
Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in Queensland women – around 2900 new cases are diagnosed each year, and about 500 women die from the disease.
Since BreastScreen Australia began in 1991, mortality has decreased from 68 deaths per 100,000 women to 44 deaths per 100,000 women in 2011.
Cancer Council Queensland is calling on all Queenslanders to unite in pink this month to support the one in six Queensland women who will be diagnosed with women’s cancer in their lifetime.
Queenslanders can buy pink, register to host a Girls’ Night In or Pink Ribbon Fundraiser, donate or volunteer on Pink Ribbon Day – Monday October 27. More information is available via pinkribbon.com.au or 1300 65 65 85.
For more information or interviews, please contact:
Katie Clift, Executive Manager, Media and Spokesperson, Cancer Council Queensland
Ph: (07) 3634 5372 or 0409 001 171