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120 local women with undiagnosed breast cancer

26 Oct 2018

 

As many as 120 women in the Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District have breast cancer but don’t know it because they haven’t had a mammogram in the past two years.

The data, released by the Cancer Institute NSW during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, also shows 22,475 women aged 50 to 74 in the Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District are either overdue for a mammogram or have never had one.

Nepean Cancer Care Centre breast cancer medical oncologist, Dr Ana Vasista, said she hopes the data will encourage all women aged 50 to 74 to have a potentially life-saving mammogram and make simple lifestyle changes to reduce their breast cancer risk.

“Encouragingly, overall screening numbers across the state are on the rise, which shows our lifesaving message is getting across,” Dr Ana Vasista said.

“However, each year 950 women in NSW die from breast cancer and our data shows 22,475 women locally are not attending their recommended two-yearly mammograms.

“Mammograms are the best way to detect breast cancer before it can be seen or felt, which allows for less invasive treatment and better recovery. They’re also free of charge,” Dr Vasista said.

Ways to reduce your breast cancer risk:

  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Reduce alcohol intake.
  • Quit smoking.

In 2018-19, more than $6.4 million is being invested towards the Sydney West BreastScreen Screening and Assessment Service, which provides services to the western Sydney, Nepean, Blue Mountains, Hawkesbury and Lithgow areas.

Breast screening participation rates are driven by many factors, including population growth and culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities, which have lower rates of screening than the general population.

To book a mammogram today with BreastScreen NSW, please phone 13 20 50. You can search for your nearest BreastScreen NSW service by visiting breastscreen.nsw.gov.au