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Powell Media Release – More women booking breast screens (12 May 2014)

Sunshine Coast women are embracing Queensland Health’s free breast screen service, with numbers well exceeding the annual screening target.

Member for Glass House, Andrew Powell MP, said 24,310 breast screens had been carried out across the Sunshine Coast in the period 1 July 2013 – 31 March 2014.

“Research shows having regular, two-yearly breast screens is still the most effective way to detect breast cancer early,” Mr Powell said.

“I am delighted to see so many Sunshine Coast residents taking up this service, and I encourage all women aged 50-74 years of age to book an appointment.

“The annual screening target for the Sunshine Coast is 31,700, and these early numbers show we are well on the way to meeting it.

“Queensland Heath performs 650 breast screens every day and now Queenslanders will be able to see how many are carried out in their local area.”

The latest figures show for the nine months to March 2014 that almost 184,000 women participated in BreastScreen across Queensland, representing 13,000 more breast screens than for the same period in 2011/12 during Labor’s last year in office.

Mr Powell urged women to use the free service, which is provided at over 200 locations throughout Queensland using a network of 11 screening and assessment services, 22 satellite services and nine mobile services including the deployment of a four-wheel drive for remote communities.

“Please don’t underestimate the importance of breast health, particularly the benefits of regular screening for women over the age of 50,” he said.

“Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer and the second biggest killer of all cancers in Queensland women. While most women are aware of breast cancer, unfortunately many are still not taking the steps necessary to detect the disease in its early stages.”

BreastScreen Queensland provides free breast cancer screening to women aged 50 to 74, while women in their 40s and over the age of 75 can also access screening.

The service will be available at Maleny Soldiers Memorial Hospital until 22 May 2014.  To make an appointment there, or at other locations, please call 13 20 50.

ENDS- 12 May 2014

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