Melina Bath has reminded women of the importance of breast screening for early breast cancer detection.
Figures released by BreastScreen Victoria late last year show that across the state just over 50% of women aged above 50 have been screened in the past two years.
“Across Eastern Victoria the screening rate is 53.1%, just above the state average of 52.3%,” Ms Bath said.
“I commend the women who make use of the program and encourage them to continue to prioritise their health.”
“However, the target for Australia is 70%, so these figures are well below that goal.”
“Based on the data from BreastScreen Victoria, across all of Eastern Victoria almost 50,000 women aged over 50 did not have a breast screen in the past two years.”
BreastScreen Victoria CEO Vicki Pridmore says women aged over 50 need to continue their commitment to screening every two years as finding cancer early saves lives.
“With one in eight Victorian women diagnosed with the disease, having a breast screen is the best way of finding cancer early before any symptoms are noticed and when treatment is likely to be most successful,” Ms Pridmore said.
“The biggest risk factor for breast cancer is being a woman over 50 years of age. Seventy-five per cent of women diagnosed will be over the age of 50, the vast majority of whom will have no family history of the disease,” she added.
Ms Bath is encouraging women who have not been screened to take this important early step.
“50,000 is a lot of women here in country Victoria. Breast screening is a free service and only takes ten minutes. I encourage women aged over 50 who have not been screened to book in for a check,” Ms Bath concluded.
Appointments at BreastScreen Victoria clinics and mobile vans can be made online at breastscreen.org.au or by calling 13 20 50.