BreastScreen plea from MPs in Western Victoria

MP Jalla Pulford, Grampians BreastScreen Program Manager Kim Kyatt, MP Juliana Addison, and MP Catherine King.

Too many women in Western Victoria are not getting their breast screens. Labor MPs Jaala Pulford, Juliana Addison, and Catherine King visited Grampians BreastScreen to urge local women aged from 50 to 74 to get a free breast screen.

BreastScreen Victoria's latest participation statistics for Western Victoria reveal that only 58% of women in the electorate aged 50-74 had a mammogram between 2016 and 2018. Across the state, the participation rate is 54%.

Ms Pulford said regular breast screens are an essential component of women's well-being over the age of 50.

"I'm calling on local women to prioritise a breast screen every two years, along with other important routine health checks," Ms Pulford said.

"This result tells us that 32,972 women across Western Victoria didn't have a breast screen in the two years to the end of June 2018 and I hope we see this number decrease as more women prioritise their health," she said.

Our statistics have revealed that an estimated 1,500 women in Victoria might have breast cancer, but don't know it because they haven't had a breast screen. Approximately 186 of those women live in Western Victoria.

Ms Addison added that it is important for family members to encourage regular screening.

"If you're not yet in the 50-74 age bracket, perhaps you can support someone you know to have a breast screen. Maybe you can even go with them to their appointment. A breast screen takes just 10 minutes, is with a woman, and it is free," Ms Addison said.

Seventy-five per cent of women diagnosed with breast cancer are over the age of 50, the vast majority of whom have no family history of the disease. BreastScreen Victoria targets women aged 50-74 with early detection giving women the best chance of successful treatment and recovery.

Appointments at BreastScreen Victoria can be made online or by calling 13 20 50.