Breast Health Awareness in North West Melbourne

Published 7 August 2013 By smclean@breastscreen.org.au
Breast Health Awareness in North West Melbourne

One in nine Australian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. However, many migrant families in the North West of Melbourne are unaware of the BreastScreen Victoria program and the potential life saving benefits of a regular mammogram.

Only 48 per cent of eligible women living in the Broadmeadows area had a screening mammogram in the last two years, which is considerably lower than the statewide average of 55 per cent.

To help boost breast awareness, Federal Member for Calwell Maria Vamvakinou, hosted a morning tea and breast health awareness session at her office in Broadmeadows.

“The morning tea promoted relationships between mothers and daughters, and for them, in turn to share the message with their sisters, aunts, grandmothers and nieces,” said Mrs Vamvakinou.

A large group of Greek, Assyrian, Italian, Indian, Turkish and Vietnamese women heard about the latest information on breast cancer risk, early detection and screening and visit the BreastScreen clinic located next door.

“It’s so important to address the language and cultural barriers that can often prevent people from taking the necessary steps to protect themselves through early diagnosis,” she said.

The free breast health information session was led by BreastScreen Victoria’s Statewide Health Promotion Manager Nikki McGrath. It outlined the benefits of the free, quick and easy screening process which saves lives.

“Nine out of ten women diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history of the disease. The biggest risk factor for breast cancer is being a woman over 50 years of age,” said Mrs McGrath.

41 year old Oak Park pharmacist Anitha Dudani encourages all women to get informed about the benefits of breast screening.

“It doesn’t cost anything, so why not get checked? Prevention is always better than a cure, and if something is found, it’s always better to be addressed at an early stage,” said Mrs Dudani.

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.

BreastScreen Victoria particularly encourages women aged 50 to 69 to screen as it is proven they are at most benefit from the program. Women from the age of 40 and over 69 are also eligible for a free mammogram once every two years.

If you'd like to host a similar session, fill out the booking form.

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