Breast screening increases

THE message about the importance of breast screening is getting through to Warrnambool women with the number of those being tested on the rise.

BreastScreen Victoria has reported 5723 women aged 50-74 had a scan at the organisation’s Warrnambool clinic during 2014-16.

That figure represents an increase of 486 from the 2013-15 period, a participation rate of 59.4 per cent.

Across the state, 422,209 women aged 50-74 screened with BreastScreen Victoria.

This was an increase of 20,227, resulting in a statewide participation rate of 53.6 per cent for 2014-16

Chief radiographer at BreastScreen’s Warrnambool clinic Margaret McDonald said the local figures were pleasing.

“It’s encouraging to see the number of local women who are screening at Warrnambool each year continues to grow,” Ms McDonald said.

“We aim to provide an inclusive, welcoming service for all women that attend our clinic and ensure they are receiving the best quality of care. Our staff are very experienced and we attend to women who have never had a breast screen every day, so putting it off because you’ve never been before is no excuse.”

The statewide figures show underscreened groups have improved their screening rates gains being made to health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.

A total of 1215 women identifying as indigenous, aged 50-74, were screened, an increase of 148 on the previous reporting period.

BreastScreen Victoria also screened a total of 84,966 culturally and linguistically diverse women aged 50-74, an increase of 2695 women.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in Australia and the second most common cancer to cause death in women, after lung cancer. 

*Women aged 50-74 who are due for their biannual breast screen at the St John of God Hospital clinic in Warrnambool can book at breastscreen.org.au or by calling 13 20 50.

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