Free Breast Screening for Alice Springs Women

5 October 2011

Women from Alice Springs and surrounds are being reminded that now is the time to book in for a free mammogram, with the latest round of breast screen clinics underway in Alice Springs at Eurilpa House for the next five weeks.

Senior Health Promotions Officer for the BreastScreen NT program, Di Bates is calling on all local women aged 50-69 to book in for their free breast x-ray.

"Women aged 50-69 are in a risk group for breast cancer and should have a mammogram or breast x-ray every two years," Ms Bates said.

The latest round of BreastScreen NT clinics will run from 3 October to 11 November.

"We've spent the past week at Tennant Creek Hospital screening women of the Barkly region. Now it's on to Alice where we're expecting to screen as many as 600 women over the coming weeks," Ms Bates said.

According to Ms Bates, a mammogram takes around 20 minutes to complete and can identify  small cancers  that may otherwise be undetected.

"Breast cancer risk increases with age, and the risk heightens after menopause with over 70 per cent of breast cancers occurring in women over 50. Mammograms detect cancer in earlier stages which makes treatment easier and more successful," she said.

"If you're a woman between 50 and 69 years old there's really no excuse for putting off having your mammogram, it's quick, relatively painless and could save your life."

The mammogram equipment used at the clinic went completely digital last May, replacing the film processors which were previously used.

While the target group for the Breast Screen NT clinics is women aged 50-69, Ms Bates said all women should regularly check their breasts for changes.

"All women need to be breast aware and understand the normal feel and look of their breasts. No matter what your age, if you notice any new or unusual changes, see your GP straight away."

To make an appointment at the Breast Screen NT clinic call 13 20 50.

Media Contact:  Sharon Hutton   8951 5123   or   0401 114 113