For health professionals

Health professionals are instrumental in increasing participation rates in the BreastScreen program and ultimately improving survival from breast cancer. We need your support in encouraging women to have regular screening mammograms.

1 in 8 women in NSW will be diagnosed with breast cancer by the age of 85. Breast cancer is the most common cancer among NSW women and accounts for 28% of all cancer diagnoses in NSW[1].

Between 1999 and 2008 the age-standardised rate of death due to breast cancer in women fell by 11%[1]. If more women are screened regularly by BreastScreen, even fewer women will die as a result of breast cancer.

The latest figures, from between 1 June 2009 and 30 May 2011, show that 51.8% of women in the target age group of 50 to 69 years are participating in the BreastScreen NSW program. That means there’s scope to significantly increase the number of women who are screened and, as a result, improve survival from breast cancer. Our aim is to achieve a participation rate of at least 70% among women aged 50 to 69 years, which is aligned with the National target for the BreastScreen program.

Early detection of breast cancer, while the cancer is small, and before it has a chance to spread to other parts of the body, is one of the most important factors in determining the survival and recovery of a woman from breast cancer.

For example, the five-year survival rate for women with the earliest stage of breast cancer is 98% (tumour size 0 to 10mm), compared to 73% for women whose tumour size is 30mm or greater[2]. This is why the BreastScreen program plays such an important role in detecting breast cancer when it is still small and when women have the best chance of survival.

As a health professional, you have a vital role in encouraging women to have regular screening mammograms.

[1] Cancer In NSW: Incidence Report 2009, Currow D, Thomson W, Sydney: Cancer Institute NSW, 2014

[2]:Breast cancer in Australia: an overview, 2009. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare & National Breast and Ovarian Cancer Centre, Canberra, AIHW, Cancer series no. 50. Cat. no. CAN 46, 2009

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Recent Publications

Information for women with breast implants
This brochure provides information for women who have breast implants and answers some questions about what happens at a breast screening appointment.

Your appointment with BreastScreen NSW
This brochure provides information about what to expect before, during and after your mammogram.

Information for women with disability
This brochure provides information about accessibility to BreastScreen NSW for women with disability.

Your role as a GP in BreastScreen NSW
GPs and practice nurses play an important role in providing support and encouragement to participate in the BreastScreen NSW program. This factsheet provides information for GP's about BreastScreen NSW.

Multicultural resources - Detecting Breast Cancer Early is Vital
This brochure is available in 28 languages. It promotes the benefits of two yearly mammograms and answers commonly asked questions about breast screening. Please note the English version is for reference only and not available for order.

More publications...