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BreastScreen Australia saving women's lives

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Media ReleaseParliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Family Services Member for Adelaide THE HON. TRISH WORTH MP

BreastScreen Australia s a v in g w o m e n ’s liv es

21 August 1997

Trish Worth, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Family Services, said today that BreastScreen Australia has had a big impact on the lives o f women since beginning its work five years ago.

“Because regular screening has resulted in early detection of breast cancer, methods of treatment have improved and lives have been saved,” said Ms Worth, while opening BreastScreen Australia's first national conference in Canberra today.

“Some 7,500 Australian women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year - a condition that is the single most common cause of death from cancer in women.

“One in 14 Australian women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime - breast cancer accounts for one third o f all cancers in Australian women.

“Early detection, provided through BreastScreen Australia's mammographic screening to women in their 50s and 60s, offers the best chance of successful treatment and recovery.

“By one estimate, BreastScreen Australia is on track to reduce death from breast cancer by at least 30 per cent, and women over 50 who screen regularly may reduce their risk of dying from breast cancer by as much as 50 per cent.

“I was very pleased to note that BreastScreen Australia had performed its two millionth screening, a significant achievement for a program operational for just five years.

“BreastScreen Australia has had a pioneering spirit, taking to the furthest parts of the continent an important message for Australia's women - have a mammograml

“The program set a very high standard of quality service and has reached women in urban, rural and remote areas through its 500 fixed and mobile mammography units, earning a reputation as one of the most comprehensive population-based screening programs in the world.

“The BreastScreen Australia program is a tribute to the dedication and professionalism of all those involved," Ms Worth said.

For further information contact: Michael Fitzgerald - Trish Worth’s Office: 06 277 3683 or 0411 261 336 Mary Shiers - Public Health Media Unit: 06 289 7005 or 018 621 913