Sep 14
Bosom Buddies Booming Across Western NSW

The ‘Be a Bosom Buddy Salon’ Project is booming across Western NSW with over 20 hair salons across Bathurst, Orange and Dubbo joining forces with BreastScreen NSW, in a project that will encourage women to have life-saving mammograms.

Since January 2016 the project has been working with hairdressers to help them start positive conversations with women in their salons about the importance of regular screening mammograms for the early detection of breast cancer for women aged 50 and over.

BreastScreen NSW Health Promotion Officer, Gillian MacSmith said many women are aware they should have regular breast screens, yet there are still a lot of women who do not get screened regularly.

“Most women are aware they should have two-yearly breast screens, yet only one in two eligible women are having regular screens,” Gillian said.

“Women are often put off having a mammogram due to being busy with other commitments, however getting a mammogram is one of the most important things a woman can do to safeguard their health.”

The idea behind the initiative is to build on the unique and trusted relationship shared between a woman and her hairdresser and aims to promote important breast health messages in a familiar environment.

“We want conversations about the importance of breast screening occurring within the community, and the ‘Bosom Buddy’ project is a great way to do this. The project starts conversations in our local communities where women go to get their hair done,” Gillian said.

Gillian said feedback about the project from local women and hairdressers has been positive.

“Regular support is offered to salon staff, and salon owners are reporting that clients are enjoying talking about it during their hair treatments,” Gillian said.

“Being a ‘Bosom Buddy’ is all about local women supporting each other, so it is great to hear positive feedback about the project.”

“We are also very excited to be seeking out interest from additional salons from the Orange, Bathurst and Dubbo communities to join this amazing project and continue these really important health conversations,” she said.

The initiative is supported by the Cancer Institute NSW, as part of its overall aim to increase early detection of breast cancer through screening.

The free ‘Bosom Buddy’ magazine is also available in participating salons for ladies to read during their appointment and to take home with them, with the third edition recently released.

To book a mammogram today with BreastScreen NSW, please phone 13 20 50.

For more information about this program, please contact Gillian MacSmith on (02) 6369 3616 or via email gillian.farlow@health.nsw.gov.au.

Media enquiries: Brendan Williams, Media Manager, Western NSW Local Health District via brendan.williams@health.nsw.gov.au