19 Maitland women with undiagnosed breast cancer
As many as 19 Maitland women could have breast cancer but don’t know it.
In closing Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Cancer Institute NSW has released data to highlight the importance of regular self-checks and mammograms after finding that there are 3000 local women aged 50 to 74 who are either overdue for the breast xray or have never had one.
The numbers are similar in Cessnock, where there are thought to be 18 women with undiagnosed breast cancer.
The potentially life-saving screens aid in early cancer detection, with figures showing that for every 1000 women who have regular mammograms, eight deaths will be prevented.
“Encouragingly, overall screening numbers across the state are on the rise, however our data shows 3000 women locally are not attending their recommended two-yearly mammograms,” BreastScreen Hunter New England’s Rebecca Delaporte said.
“Women tend to have a perception that breast cancer is common, but don’t think it will happen to them.
“That’s why it can be easy to forget to schedule a mammogram or not make it a priority.”
Across the state, 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, and over 75 per cent of those cases will be in women aged over 50.
5800 new cases are projected to be diagnosed this year, including 50 men.
“Mammograms are the best way to detect breast cancer before it can be seen or felt, which allows for less invasive treatment and better recovery,” Ms Delaporte said.
“They’re also free of charge.”
More information can be found breastscreen.nsw.gov.au.