Tiwi Islands First Stop For Breast Screening Bus On 7,000 Km Territory Wide Trip

Tiwi Islands First Stop For Breast Screening Bus On 7,000 Km Territory Wide Trip

Northern Territory Minister for Women’s Policy Bess Price

Breast Screening Bus Visits Tiwi For First Time

Victor P Taffa

The Health Department’s BreastScreenNT bus which is expected to reach more than 1,000 women in rural and remote Territory communities this year is visiting the Tiwi Islands for the first time.

The Minister for Women’s Policy Bess Price watched the big pink 4×4 bus being loaded on to Sea Swift’s ‘Tiwi Islander’ barge in Darwin bound for Bathurst Island for a two-week clinic.

After arriving at Wurrumiyanga on Bathurst Island, the mobile breast screening bus was set up for the clinic starting on Monday, May 16.

The bus recently returned from the community of Nauiyu in the Daly River region where more than 50 women were screened during its two-day visit.

More than 200 Tiwi women are expected to take advantage of the free breast screening service while the bus is at Wurrumiyanga.

Women from the Melville Island communities of Milikapiti and Pirlangimpi will also travel to Wurrumiyanga for screening.

Minister Price said the Tiwi women would be among more than 1,000 women from  some of the Territory’s most far-flung regions expected to be screened this year by the BreastScreenNT bus during its six-month, 7,000km round-the-Territory trek.

“This first visit to Tiwi shows how this wonderful service is continuing to make life safer for women in rural and remote communities.” Minister Price said.

“In fact, last year 5,855 women were screened by BreastScreenNT, with the mobile bus service screening 1,264 women.”

Minister Price said women in rural and remote communities across the Territory who had used the BreastScreenNT bus service would have otherwise had to travel to town for the life-saving screening.

Minister Price said the visit to Bathurst Island followed a request from Tiwi women for the service to visit them.

NT Minister for Women's Policy Bess Price

NT Minister for Women’s Policy Bess Price

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“All community visits are influenced by the direction of local Aboriginal health care workers to ensure appropriate cultural sensitivities are observed.” Minister Price said.

“Previously Tiwi women wanting a mammogram would had to have left their homes and families for several days for the long trip to Darwin, so this service will save them a lot of time and effort.”

Breast screening mammograms are strongly recommended for women aged 50-74 for the early detection of breast cancer

Minister Price said the early detection of breast cancer offered women the best chance of successful treatment and recovery.

“One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. It is important women are aware of how their breasts look and feel and see a doctor if they notice any changes.” Minister Price said.

Women 50 to 74 are eligible for a free breast screen every two years with BreastScreenNT. Breast screening is free, takes less than 30 minutes and does not require a doctor’s referral.