Every Australian woman needs to know this 29



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Ladies, we all know breast cancer exists. We all know how damaging it can be. We all know that detection is best and early detection is better. We all know what to do to diagnose and detect it. And most of us know that the government provides free services to some women through BreastScreen Australia. But do you realise that they’ve extended the age range of the invitation?

In the last year, BreastScreen Australia, the free screening program that offers mammograms to women, has extended the invitation to women between the ages of 50 and 74.

Age is the biggest risk factor when it comes to developing breast cancer. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, one in 11 Australian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 75 and one in eight women will be diagnosed before the age of 85.

So next time when you’re at lunch with your friends or are at a social function, look around the room, because whether we like it or not we’re confronted with the big question – who is next?

This is why making every woman over the age of 50 aware of the BreastScreen Australia service is so important. When something is free, available, easy and convenient there shouldn’t ever be anything stopping us.

BreastScreen Australia began in 1991 as a government initiative and has conducted millions of breast screens all over Australia. By expanding the invitation of screening from women aged 50-69 to women 50-74, it is estimated that up to a further 220,000 additional breast screens will be conducted over four years and this will potentially result in an additional 600 breast cancer detections each year.

If 600 more women have a chance of survival through early detection, this is a service that everyone needs to know and support. Nine out of ten women will survive breast cancer with early detection and treatment. Every woman deserves the chance to be one of those nine.

BreastScreen Australia offers services in more than 600 locations across all states and territories. Purpose built busses and four-wheel drives are also used to provide screenings to women in rural and remote areas.

And although the service is available by invitation you can always call your local provider to update your details and make a booking.

So today, spread the word to your friends and family that the invitation is there for them. Just telling them about the service could be the first step to saving a life.

How often do you have your mammogram? Have you used a BreastScreen Australia service before? Share your stories in the comments below…


This article has been sponsored by BreastScreen Australia. It has been written by an independent, Starts at 60 writer as we feel it provides our readers with valuable and highly relevant information. To find out more about BreastScreen Australia or to book your next breast screen, call 13 20 50 or head to the BreastScreen Australia website by clicking here.


Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Yes. The actual breast screen is free.
    However, the Abbott government stopped the free testing if a lump is found. So if they do discover a suspicious lump and need to do a fine needle biopsy, the cost is no longer covered by Medicare and can cost as much as $700 depending on where you get it done.
    I found this out the hard way.

    2 REPLY
    • Like you Ruth I found out the hard way of the sneaky cuts the Government has made I had to have a special Ultra sound. That I found out has been taken off the list. I didn’t have the $100 required, so miss out.

    • June Dickinson
      Pity they didn’t tell us this before sending us off to have it done. How many women will have untreated breast cancer because of the LNP’s cost cutting to health services.

  2. It’s a wonderful service with bi-annual recall that’s reliable. Had an ultrasound by breastscreen two years ago and it cost me nothing, must have changed since then.

  3. As part of an OH&S initiative, a branch of major department store arranged for breast testing for all female staff. There were a number of warning signs in some of the women which lead to ongoing investigation. I remember thus because my GOM was the one who got the project underway. Personally I don’t find the screening any worse than any other testing and always feel a great relief when it’s over.

  4. Why have an age limit at all? I was diagnosed in my 83rd year! Only because I recognised an early warning sign. All went well and EVERY doctor I see commented how lucky I was to have caught ‘IT’ ‘early!

  5. You are mad if you don’t have it done at least every two years. They send me a letter when mine is due

    2 REPLY
    • same here wendy.glad too as they found a very small lump so small i had to have a wire put in my breast for the doctor to find it.to operate had radiation and have my second check up this year. you are treated very special when you have or had cancer.

  6. I dont have a mammogram anymore but decided instead on thermal imaging of my breast its less intrusive and a better way of determining any problems without squashing senstive breast tissue between two piesces of glass….and less damaging if there is aready a problem.

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