Yan Yean and Thomastown MPs are joining with local breast cancer survivors to encourage women to book a breast screen during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Yan Yean MP Danielle Green and Thomastown MP Bronwyn Halfpenny celebrated their 50th birthdays in recent weeks. The milestone served as a timely reminder to book a breast screen. BreastScreen Victoria particularly encourages women aged 50 to 74 to screen as 75 per cent of diagnosed women are over 50.
“It’s an important birthday present to ourselves in an effort to look after our health,” said Ms Halfpenny.
“During national Breast Cancer Awareness Month we encourage women within our electorates to prioritise their health and get checked out,” said Ms Green.
The latest BreastScreen Victoria participation rate report card for Thomastown shows that 51 per cent of women aged between 50 and 69 living in the area took advantage of the free service in 2010/12. The figure is higher in Yan Yean, with 54 per cent participation. However, both of these statistics are lower than the statewide participation rate of 55 per cent.
One in nine Victorian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. One of those women is 57 year old Mill Park resident Maureen Corrigan. She survived breast cancer following chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
“If I hadn’t had a breast screen, I wouldn’t have known anything was wrong. I had no symptoms, but a routine mammogram picked up the abnormality,” said Ms Corrigan.
74 year old Lalor breast cancer survivor Sophia Mastorias is also a firm advocate of the importance of regular mammograms, as she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1986 and again in 2004.
“I tell those women who put it off not to be stupid. Don’t avoid it, it’s only ten minutes and if something is found, early detection is so important,” said Ms Mastorias.
Regular screening mammograms are the best way to find breast cancer early, before symptoms are noticed and when treatment is likely to be most successful.
To make an appointment call 13 20 50 or book online at www.breastscreen.org.au