October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Westmead’s Breast Cancer Institute (BCI) will offer free breast screening to women across western Sydney.
Its mobile van will be at North Rocks Shopping Centre from October 4-19, and at St Mary’s Leagues Club from October 10-November 11.
The BreastScreen van is staffed by female breast screening specialists.
Marketing Coordinator for St Marys Rugby League Club Yvette Haines said the club believed it was important to raise awareness about breast cancer during October Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
“With this in mind, we wanted to support BreastScreen’s initiative to emphasise the importance of having regular mammograms for the early detection of breast cancer by offering this service to our local women”.
North Rocks Shopping Centre national marketing manager Cheryl Kemp said the centre was keen to make the service available for women because of its close attachment to the community.
It is recommended women aged 50 to 74 have regular mammograms every two years.
A mammogram takes just 15 minutes and is vital, given one in eight women in NSW will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. Nine out of 10 women who develop breast cancer do not have a family history of the disease.
Westmead BCI director Associate Professor Nirmala Pathmanathan encourages women to make time for their health and keep up regular screening.
“Breast cancer is the most common cancer in Australian women, with almost 16,000 women diagnosed every year,” she said.
“However, only half of all women in the target age group are being regularly screened in western Sydney. Finding breast cancer in its early stages can save lives, so we need to raise awareness about the importance of screening. We need to significantly increase the number of women screening and in turn reduce the number of women dying from this disease.”
To book a free mammogram at the van or at a BreastScreen clinic, contact BreastScreen on 13 20 50.
North Rocks Shopping Centre is located at 328-336 North Rocks Road, North Rocks.