Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in women in New Zealand. Regular breast screening (mammograms) reduces the chances of dying from breast cancer by about 20 percent for women between 45–49 years; 30 percent for women aged 50–65 years; and by about 45 percent for women over 65.
BreastScreen Aotearoa (BSA) is a national programme that provides free mammograms every two years for eligible women aged 45–69 years. The aim of the programme is to reduce women’s morbidity and mortality from breast cancer by identifying cancers at an early stage, allowing treatment to be commenced sooner than might otherwise have been possible. Finding breast cancer early means New Zealand women have a better chance of surviving the disease
BSCC’s Primary Care Nurse Coordinator will be delivering BSA posters and balloons to GP practices across MidCentral DHB to be available for October — ‘Breast Cancer Awareness’ month. This is a small way of highlighting that it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the importance of Breast Screening.
People may notice their practice nurse wearing one of the BreastScreen Aotearoa t-shirts during this month; hopefully this will start the discussion about whether to breast screen and its importance in reducing the chances of dying from breast cancer.
BSCC will also be giving a small gift to all women who newly enrol and are then screened at the Palmerston North site during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This to celebrate joining the BSA Programme and attending this important health check
Women turning 45 need to be aware that the BreastScreen Aotearoa is a self-enrolment programme.
Please phone 0800 270 200 or go to the BreastScreen Aotearoa website www.breastscreen.govt.nz It is that easy.
Remember: Regular breast screening is important. Don’t put it off; it could save your life.