Chief Cancer Officer and CEO of the Cancer Institute NSW, Professor David Currow says early detection is key to giving women the best chance of survival.
Finding breast cancer early reduces the likelihood of needing invasive treatment, such as mastectomy or chemotherapy.
“Breast screens can detect cancer as small as a grain of rice. Our research shows that women who receive a diagnosis as a result of regular breast screening are less likely to need a mastectomy,” Professor Currow explains.
“It proves that early detection is key to unlocking less invasive treatment options for patients, making it easier for them to recover, and giving them an overall better quality of life.”
Breast Cancer Awareness Month runs every October across the world. It is an important opportunity to recognise the impact of breast cancer, and talk about what women can do.
“In 2020 alone, it’s expected that more than 6,240 women in NSW will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 973 will die from the disease,” Professor Currow says.
“While these numbers are sobering, the good news is that if detected early, women have a 98 per cent chance of survival.”
How screening is staying COVID-safe
A wide range of hygiene and social-distancing measures are in place to make sure clinics and mobile screening vans are COVID–to19 safe – protecting women, staff and the wider community.
- Pre-screening questions around personal health and travel
- Limiting the number of people in the clinic/van
- Practising social distancing and providing hand sanitiser in waiting rooms
- A minimal contact check-in process
- Wearing masks
- Additional cleaning of equipment and commonly used surfaces.
An appointment with BreastScreen NSW is free, takes about 20 minutes in total and no doctor’s referral is needed.
In addition to 46 BreastScreen NSW clinics, BreastScreen NSW has 16 mobile vans that provide services to about 180 locations across NSW, including in rural and remote areas.
Early detection saves lives
In addition to regular screening, it’s an important time to remind women in NSW to be aware of any changes they notice in their body.
If people notice any breast cancer symptoms between screening, or have any concerns at all, they should speak with their doctor and let them know.
Source: Cancer Institute NSW
If you are aged 50 to 74 book your free mammogram today with BreastScreen NSW online at book.breastscreen.nsw.gov.au or by calling 13 20 50.