Victoria Minister for Health David Davis
Second State-Of-The-Art Mobile Breast Screen Service Hits The Road
Victor P Taffa
Minister for Health David Davis today farewelled Victoria’s second state-of-the-art mobile breast cancer screening service as it took to the road on a trip around rural Victoria.
Mr. Davis said BreastScreen Victoria had named the bright pink van, fitted with the latest digital breast cancer screening technology, after Associate Professor Nina Sacharias who has been described as the ‘Grandmother of mammography’ in Victoria.
“The mobile service, run by BreastScreen Victoria, will boost access to life saving breast cancer screening for women living in rural Victoria.” Mr. Davis said.
“New digital technology inside the van enables mammography images to be captured more efficiently and be sent to radiologists over a broadband network.”
“The van will drive to Kerang where it will stay until June 26, followed by stops in Swan Hill and Robinvale.” Mr. Davis said.
The first upgraded van was launched last September and is currently in Hamilton. In July it will travel to Beechworth then on to Yarrawonga, Corryong, Tallangatta, Mt. Beauty, Myrtleford and Wangaratta.
This van will be named after the late mammogram pioneer and diagnostic radiologist Dr. Marjorie Dalgarno who performed the first mammogram in Australia in the 1950’s.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in Victorian women and the leading cause of cancer death. One in 11 women will develop breast cancer by age 75.
In 2010 3,499 Victorian women were diagnosed with breast cancer and 763 died from the disease.
Mr. Davis said the two mobile screening buses will collectively provide more than 14,000 BreastScreen appointments every year for women across rural and regional Victoria.
“The installation of digital technology in this mobile service is part of a planned, statewide four year rollout, that will be made progressively available to all Victorian women accessing public breast screening services.” Mr. Davis said.
“The Victorian Coalition Government is committed to reducing the burden of breast cancer on Victorians, and in partnership with the Commonwealth is providing more than $35 Million of joint recurrent funding to support the delivery of the BreastScreen program every year.”
“Additionally the Victorian Government has provided $10 Million to support the rollout of digital mammography technology to BreastScreen services in Victoria, and the Commonwealth Government is providing $32 Million over four years to Victoria as part of a national commitment to upgrade breast screening equipment across Australia.”
Mr. Davis said a BreastScreen appointment every two years was the best way to find breast cancer early and offered women the best chance of successful treatment and recovery.
“Thanks to improvements in treatment and early detection, five-year survival rates have increased from 72 % in 1985-89 to 89 % in 2005-09.” Mr. Davis said.
“I encourage all women aged 50 to 69 to phone BreastScreen Victoria on 13 20 50 and make an appointment.”