Minister for Health Jill Hennessy launched a BreastScreen Victoria advertising campaign, encouraging Victorian women to register for breast screening.
More than 4000 Victorian women are diagnosed with breast cancer and almost 700 women die from the disease every year, yet Victoria’s breast screen participation rate remains steady at 54 per cent.
The campaign will air on TV and radio and feature online from next Sunday and coincides with the release of eight breast cancer survivor videos.
All women aged 50-74 years should undertake a free breast screen every two years, however all women aged over 40 are eligible to attend a BreastScreen Victoria clinic.
In 2013, about 45 per cent of all invasive breast cancer diagnosed in Victorian women aged 50-69 years were detected by BreastScreen Victoria.
Cancers detected by BreastScreen Victoria were likely to be smaller, lower grade and stage, and node negative, all indicators of an improved prognosis.
BreastScreen Victoria has 39 permanent screening clinics across the state and 8 assessment clinics. The Mobile Screening Service – two bright pink vans called ‘Nina’ and ‘Marjorie’ – visit 29 regional and rural locations every two years.
The Andrews Labor Government has committed $10 million to help build a comprehensive breast cancer centre in Melbourne’s outer east, which will bring together breast screening, breast oncology and medical care, plus the support services women rely on.
In addition, Labor is putting research, education and care under one roof at the $1 billion Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, to treat cancer and find a cure.
Five-year survival rates for breast cancer have increased, and this campaign aims to raise awareness about the importance of breast screening and early detection.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jill Hennessy
“Early detection is the key to surviving breast cancer. Having a regular mammogram can save lives.”
“We know that early detection, through screening, offers women the best chance of successful treatment.”
“We need to be spreading the word; reminding our mothers and sisters and wives and friends that a regular breast screen could save their life.”