For North Coast women, positive change can be as simple as committing to some simple changes in their daily lives, like participating in breast screening and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which could save their lives.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) women in high-income countries like Australia, are almost twice as likely to survive breast cancer than women from low income countries, due to the availability of screening for early detection and advancements in treatment and care.
Early detection significantly increases the chance of survival from breast cancer to as much as 97% and for women aged 50-74, a mammogram every two years can detect a breast cancer long before it can be felt or seen.
Jane Walsh, Director of the BreastScreen NSW North Coast said, “In Australia we are fortunate to have a free breast screening program. However, almost 50% of women aged 50-74 in NSW are failing to have this potentially lifesaving test.”
Ms Walsh said, “Women can take action to reduce their cancer risk. On the North Coast we have local services for BreastScreen situated at Lismore and Tweed Heads, and an appointment takes as little as 30 minutes. BreastScreen also has a mobile van that visits the North Coast for local women.”“This International Women’s Day we want to encourage those 50% of women to think about what personal action they can take to reduce the impact of breast cancer across the community and inspire others to do the same.”
“Other actions women can take starts at home. Evidence shows that by maintaining a healthy weight, being physically active, limiting alcohol and not smoking, women can reduce their risk of breast cancer, as well as a range of other cancers.
Women who reside on the North Coast aged 50-74 are encouraged to call 13 20 50 to book an appointment at the North Coast BreastScreen service.“We are encouraging woment to get together with their friends and go for a walk, or get your family together for some healthy activity. And most importantly, if you are between the ages of 50 and 74, have a mammogram every two years,” said Ms Walsh.