MELBOURNE, Jun 13: Thousands more Victorians will have better access to life-saving breast cancer screening and specialist care close to home under a multi-million-dollar investment from the Andrews Labor Government.
Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Health Martin Foley today announced the locations of an additional eight permanent BreastScreen Victoria services across the state – giving more Victorians access to vital preventative breast scans and specialist treatment to find cancer early.
The new services are part of a $20 million boost in the Victorian Budget 2022/23 – delivering breast screening services to an additional 36,000 eligible Victorians every year by 2026.
Five new permanent breast screening services in the Local Government Areas of Whittlesea, Casey, Greater Geelong/Surf Coast Shire, Melton and Moreland will be established progressively, with all completed by January 2025.
Three temporary sites in Craigieburn (Hume), Pakenham (Cardinia) and Hoppers Lane (Wyndham) will also be converted into permanent sites with greater capacity.
The funding will support the expansion of BreastScreen Victoria’s Reading and Assessment services (RAS) in Parkville and Monash. It will also support strategies designed to increase the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women accessing services.
While breast cancer mortality rates have decreased by almost two per cent a year since 1994, in 2020 alone 4,575 Victorian women were diagnosed with breast cancer and 766 died from the disease.
BreastScreen Victoria currently provides services at 46 permanent screening clinics. About six per cent of BreastScreen Victoria clients are called back to a RAS for further investigation.
The Victorian Cancer Plan 2020-2024 has set ambitious targets to reduce the harm caused by all cancers and save 10,000 lives by 2025.
BreastScreen Victoria provides free two-yearly breast screening for eligible Victorians without symptoms. If you are due to be screened, book an appointment at a service by calling 13 20 50 or visiting www.breastscreen.org.au.