Port Lincoln women urged to keep up with mammograms

SCREEN: BreastScreen SA radiographers Renee Monaghan and Emily Boyle remind women of the importance of getting screened.
SCREEN: BreastScreen SA radiographers Renee Monaghan and Emily Boyle remind women of the importance of getting screened.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and with a pop-up clinic still available at the Port Lincoln Hospital women are being reminded of the importance of getting a mammogram every two years.

Cancer Council SA and BreastScreen SA is using the month to remind women to ensure they are up to date with getting screened as the frequency of breast cancer increases with age, with one in nine South Australian women diagnosed before the age of 75.

A BreastScreen pop up clinic has been based at the Port Lincoln hospital since August to provide free screening mammograms, and has seen about 200 women per week since it started.

BreastScreen SA program director Niamh Wade said this was a vital service for South Australian women because it increases the breast cancer survival rate.

She said research showed women who had regular screens reduced their chance of dying from breast cancer by up to 40 per cent.

"Over the past three decades, the program has provided free screening to more than 370,000 South Australian women and has saved the lives of more than 12,000 women," she said.

"During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we encourage all women to make their health a priority, by making time for a breast screen.

"It only takes around 20 minutes and it could save your life."

Cancer Council SA reports latest statistics show the screening rate in Eyre Peninsula and South West was 60.3 per cent compared to the South Australian state average of 59.5 per cent prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Community education coordinator Diem Tran said eight out of nine women diagnosed had no family history of the disease, which was why all women aged 50 to 74 should take advantage of free mammograms.

"Women aged 40 and over are also eligible for free mammograms every two years," she said.

"It takes just one appointment, once every two years, and it could save your life,"

The clinic will remain until November 13 and anyone wanting to make an appointment must call 13 20 50.