More Women to Get Free Breast Cancer Screening

More Women to Get Free Breast Cancer Screening

14 May 2013

Over the next four years, Australian women aged 70-74 will be invited for free breast cancer screening under new funding provided by the Australian Government.

The Australian Government is investing $55.7 million to expand BreastScreen Australias target age range for free breast screening by five years from women aged 50-69 to women aged 50-74.

Ms Plibersek said she was also pleased to announce today $10,000 in funding to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

This funding will support the work that the foundation is doing this year across Australia, holding National Community Conversations. These conversations be held in 11 locations, covering every state and territory, and will engage communities in setting the agenda for cancer research into the future.

She said expanding the targeted age range for women to receive breast screens will save lives and improve the outcomes for women diagnosed with breast cancer.

The initiative will mean more than 220,000 additional screening services can be delivered throughout the next four years. From 2016-17, an estimated additional 600 breast cancers may be detected each year

Age is the biggest breast cancer risk factor and currently, one in 11 Australian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 75.

Since the establishment of BreastScreen Australia in 1991, breast cancer deaths have been reduced by more than 25 per cent

Breast cancers detected through BreastScreen Australia are likely to be smaller than those diagnosed outside the program and a high proportion of those breast cancers are able to be treated by breast conserving surgery.

This is the latest move in the Australian Governments world leading fight against cancer that has seen $3.5 billion invested in cancer detection, treatment and research since 2007.

This includes a $120 million investment by the Australian Government through the Health and Hospitals Fund to upgrade BreastScreen Australia services from film to digital mammography.

Digital mammography allows faster transfer of images leading to quicker results for women, especially those in rural and remote Australia. It eliminates the need for chemical handling which improves workplace safety. Digital mammography is now available at more than 600 fixed and mobile sites across Australia. said Ms Plibersek.

BreastScreen Australia is co-funded by the Australian and state and territory governments. research is the single largest investment by the NHMRC.