Boosting the BreastScreen Participation Rate in Bendigo

Published 5 December 2012 By smclean@breastscreen.org.au
Boosting the BreastScreen Participation Rate in Bendigo

Bendigo East MP Jacinta Allan and Bendigo West MP Maree Edwards are joining forces to encourage local women to book in for a free regular breast screen.

The local members are pleased to release the results of their respective BreastScreen Victoria report cards which indicate the percentage of eligible women within each electorate who participate in the program.

“I’m encouraged that the participation rate for Bendigo East in 2010-12 is 59 per cent,” said Ms Allan.

“Meanwhile, I’m also happy to report that the participation rate is 58 per cent in the Bendigo West area,” said Ms Edwards.

Both electorates currently sit above the average state participation rate of 55 per cent. However, the MPs say there is room for improvement.

“We’re still below the statewide target participation rate of 70 per cent. Now that I’ve turned 50, I’ll be making an appointment to have a mammogram and I would encourage all women over 50 to have a regular mammogram, as early detection is the key to saving lives,” said Ms Edwards.

Women aged 50 to 69 are targeted by BreastScreen Victoria as they are at most benefit from mammographic screening. Women from the age of 40 and over 69 are also eligible for a free mammogram once every two years.

Regular screening mammograms are the best way to find breast cancer early, before any symptoms are noticed and when treatment is likely to be most successful.

Ms Allan says a mammogram every two years improves a woman’s chances of surviving breast cancer.

“It takes just 10 minutes, offers peace of mind and could even save your life,” she said.

Kyneton resident Marg Dearricott was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1994. She says early detection and treatment was the key to her survival.

“I had a lumpectomy and radiation, but I didn’t have to have chemotherapy because it hadn’t reached my glands,” she said.

The 66 year old urges local women to take the time to make an appointment.

“Put yourself first and go and have a mammogram. There’s nothing like peace of mind, or finding something at an early stage for better treatment options.”

The Bendigo BreastScreen clinic has just been upgraded with state-of-the-art digital technology which allows for an increase in capacity, flexibility and sustainability in screening services.

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