With more than 250 women expected to be diagnosed in Western NSW Local Health District with breast cancer this year, BreastScreen NSW are urging eligible women this Breast Cancer Awareness Month to book their free breast screen.
Breast cancer remains the most common cancer among women in NSW, with one in seven being diagnosed in their lifetime.
Professor Tracey O’Brien, Chief Cancer Officer NSW and CEO of the Cancer Institute NSW said that age and being female are the two biggest risk factors to developing breast cancer.
“More than 75 per cent of breast cancers occur in women over 50 and we know that screening saves lives by finding breast cancer early,” Professor O’Brien said.
“There are many reasons why women may put off their breast screen. Some feel that without a family history they are not at risk, some say they are too busy, and others fear embarrassment about the procedure.
“We need women to know that breast cancer can happen to anyone. In fact, nine out of 10 women who develop breast cancer have no family history. BreastScreen NSW staff are highly trained and support women through the process. Screening provides great peace of mind.”
Sally Rosin, who has her routine breast screen with BreastScreen NSW in Bathurst, said, “I would recommend that you book your breast screen when you are eligible as it could save your life. We need to get checked. It’s free and easy and important to ensure we are around for our family, friends and community.”
Ms Rosin, along with her friend, and fellow Bathurst local Narelle Druitt, have initiated a new campaign in Bathurst this Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Keppel St is going ‘pink’ for the month of October to raise awareness of the importance of regular screening mammograms.
The Campaign will be launched with BreastScreen NSW on Tuesday 4 October , with a marquee, information sharing and prize giveaways from 8am on the library forecourt, Keppel St, Bathurst. Ms Rosin and Ms Druitt are hoping the Campaign will grow each year, with one day seeing the entire Bathurst lit up ‘pink’ for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
BreastScreen NSW recommends all women aged 50-74 years have a breast screen every two years. It takes just 20 minutes. Call 13 20 50 to book an appointment or book online.
Find out more about breast cancer signs and symptoms here.
The NSW Government is investing more than $175 million this financial year in improving cancer control through the Cancer Institute NSW.