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Screening age target to include women aged 50 to 74

The target age range for inviting women to screen has now increased to include women aged 70-74. This is an extension of five years, from women 50 to 69 years of age to women 50 to 74 years of age.

Before this change, women were still eligible to screen, but weren’t provided with a formal reminder letter to prompt them.

The recent Federal and State Government announcement was recommended by a BreastScreen Australia evaluation report which highlighted the increasing life expectancy and higher rates of breast cancer among older Australian women.

While BreastScreen Victoria will now send reminder letters to women aged 70 to 74, Primary Care staff are integral partners in promoting breast screening to this cohort and encouraging women to make an appointment. Numerous studies point to the positive influence of a doctor or practice nurse recommendation.

Women over the age of 74 are not routinely invited to have a breast screen, but are still eligible to attend. BreastScreen Victoria recommends that women aged over 74 discuss the benefits and limitations of breast screening with their GP in consideration of other health issues.

We can help you promote the importance of regular breast screening to women:

1.      Order our free publications for your practice, click here for the order form.

2.      Upload the BreastScreen Victoria ‘recommendation form’ to your computer systems.

3.      Use the ‘PEN Clinical Audit Tool’ to receive your patients breast screen results electronically and easily search your systems to see who is  due for a breast screen.

4.      Use the ‘endorsement letter’ to encourage breast awareness and breast screening to women due for a breast screen.

5.      Watch ‘Breast and bowel cancer screening in women over 50’ to get up to date information on the BreastScreen program.

6.      Take a look at BreastScreen Victoria’s frequently asked questions.