Wonthaggi digital screening equipment launch

Published 28 February 2013 By smclean@breastscreen.org.au
Wonthaggi digital screening equipment launch

Victorian Health Minister David Davis officially launched the new digital technology at BreastScreen Victoria Clinic in Wonthaggi, bringing the latest state-of-the-art technology in breast cancer screening to local women.

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.

San Remo woman Andrea Kemp began screening at the age of 50, following an invitation letter she received from BreastScreen Victoria.

“Initially I was nervous, because I’d heard stories about how painful it was. But, I was pleasantly surprised as it didn’t hurt. So when my second mammogram reminder came around I booked in straight away,” Ms Kemp said.

“The new digital machine provided an even better experience the second time around, with a fabulous radiographer who was so quick and caring and very respectful.”

The 53 year old says three friends have been diagnosed with breast cancer during the past two years. This has strengthened her desire to prioritise her health and ensure she has a mammogram every two years.

“If there is something you can do for early detection, you’d be foolish not to do it. Also, a mammogram which comes back clear gives you peace of mind.”

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.

The latest BreastScreen Victoria participation rate report card for the Bass electorate shows that 53 per cent of women aged between 50 and 69 living in the area took advantage of the free service in 2010-2012.

“This result is lower than the statewide average participation rate of 55 per cent, and the statewide target of 70 per cent,” said BreastScreen Victoria CEO Vicki Pridmore.

Bass MP Ken Smith understands the importance of early detection as his daughter-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer.

“She has just finished radiotherapy and we’re waiting for the final results to come through. We are so pleased that she got diagnosed early and had the necessary treatment,” said Mr Smith.

Mr Smith encourages local women to take advantage of the free screening program.

“I think it’s an opportunity that women can’t afford to miss, if you catch it early, there is every chance of a full recovery,” he said.

Digital technology allows for an increase in capacity, flexibility and sustainability in screening services. The digital mammography project was delivered through a partnership between the Commonwealth and State Governments, BreastScreen Victoria and service providers. It is supported by $10m in Victorian funding and a commitment by the Commonwealth Government of up to $32m.

To make an appointment call 13 20 50 or book online at www.breastscreen.org.au.

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