Almost half of women between 50 and 74 years old are not having regular breast screens. The data suggests that more than 1,500 Victorians could have breast cancer and not know it.
Participation rates vary widely across the state. The highest participation rates are in Mornington, Nepean, Niddrie, St Albans and Warrandyte. Areas needing more work to raise awareness and lift participation rates are Benambra, Footscray, Cranbourne, Williamstown and Broadmeadows.
The Victorian Government is urging women to put their health first. Finding breast cancer early, before any symptoms are noticed, gives women the best chance of survival. Thanks to earlier detection and better treatments, more Victorian women are surviving breast cancer, with the five-year survival rate now at 91 per cent compared to 73 per cent in 1986.
"When it comes to breast cancer, we know early diagnosis in the key to the survival," Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos said in a statement. "I’m calling on Victorian women to prioritise their own health and, if you’re over 50, to get a breast screen every two years – its free, takes just 10 minutes, and may save your life or the life of someone you love."
Breast screening is free for eligible Victorians aged 40 and over. If you are between 50 and 74, a breast screen every two years could save your life. Book online or by calling 13 20 50.