All Australian women aged 50 to 74 will receive an invitation that could save their life as part of a $55.7 million Australian Government initiative to boost breast screening rates in at risk age groups.
Minister for Health Sussan Ley today launched the -An invitation that could save your life' campaign to make sure all Australian women aged 50 to 74 were aware they qualified for a free breast screen every two years.
Ms Ley said this also marked the first time Australian women aged 70 to 74 have been specifically targeted for breast screening awareness, with an additional 220,000 breast screens expected to be delivered over four years as a direct result.
'Breast screening saves lives. It is the second most common cause of cancer-related deaths among women in Australia, however if detected early and managed nine-out-of-10 cases can be successfully treated."
Ms Ley said breast screening could identify cancer before symptoms appear or a change is noticed in the breast meaning a better range of treatment options are available and a more successful outcome.
'BreastScreen Australia has been extremely successful since it was introduced more than 20 years ago having reduced the number of breast cancer deaths by over a third.
'I encourage all women aged between 50 and 74 to make a breast screening appointment as we know the more Australian women who are screened, the more cancers that are detected. It's an invitation that could save your life."
Ms Ley said the additional screening delivered as a result of the campaign could potentially lead to the detection of an extra 600 breast cancers a year.
More than 1.8 million women are screened every two years and more than 75 per cent of breast cancers occur in women over 50. Most women who get breast cancer also have no family history.
The -An invitation that could save your life' campaign begins this week and will run across print, radio and online media to make sure women who receive a breast screen invitation in the mail are aware of its importance.
The Abbott Government's $55 million commitment will cover the cost of the promotional campaign, as well as the cost of additional invitations and free breast screenings generated as a result.
Women aged outside of the 50 to 74 age group are encouraged to talk to their GP or health professional to find out if breast screening is appropriate for them. For further information, please visit www.australia.gov.au/breastscreen