A new BreastScreen van, complete with the latest screening and communications technology, has hit Central Coast roads.
The van brings potentially lifesaving cancer screening to local women, supporting early detection for the one in eight women in NSW affected by breast cancer in their lifetime.
Enhancements in the new vehicle, which is worth approximately $1.2 million, include: the latest digital mammography technology, providing clearer x-ray images with less radiation exposure; a secure wireless communication system, which means images can be instantly transferred to the state-wide BreastScreen service for analysis; and improved accessibility for women with a disability or limited mobility.
Meredith Kay, director of Breast Screen NSW Central Coast, said the mobile nature of the service helps to address one of the key reasons women put off their screening: a lack of time.
“The van visits a number of locations across the Coast and a typical appointment takes just 20 minutes. “For a small amount of time, you can have a lot of peace of mind. “It is a free service that could save your life,” she said.
In the last 12 months, BreastScreen vans have screened over 7,300 local women. Around 50 per cent of women aged 50 to 74 on the Central Coast currently participate in the BreastScreen program, which is in line with the NSW average but below the national target of 70 per cent.
“It is vital for all women aged between 50 and 74 to have a mammogram every two years. “Even if you have no symptoms, these mammograms can detect cancers before they can be seen or felt.
“If detected early, survival from breast cancer can be as high as 97 per cent.
“Some women also believe if they have no family history of breast cancer they don’t need to screen, when in fact 90 per cent of all women diagnosed with breast cancer do not have a family history.”
4 August 2015
Casey Virgin, Central Coast
Local Health District