A new BreastScreen campaign, launched at Mount Druitt and Blacktown train stations this week, aims to encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to get their breasts checked.
Two billboards, erected in prominent locations at the train stations, are keen to remind commuters to make time for vital breast screening.
The Westmead Breast Cancer Institute (BCI) and BreastScreen NSW – who set up the billboards – have been working hard to increase awareness of breast screening, especially among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, where screening rates are particularly low.
The organisations have arranged community sessions on the BreastScreen program, along with a morning tea, to be held at the Baabayn Aboriginal Corporation in Mount Druitt in May.
The corporation’s chairperson Aunty Margaret Farrell said she was delighted to see a focus on Aboriginal health.
“It is important for ladies to look after their health and have regular mammograms,” she said.
“Early detection can save your life.
“We’re really hopeful that a lot of women will come along to the morning tea – it’s a chance for women to learn more about breast cancer awareness and the BreastScreen program before visiting the clinic at Mount Druitt Hospital for a screen.”
Presently across NSW, only half of women aged 50 to 74 are having regular mammograms, despite the benefits of breast screening.
Westmead BCI director Associate Professor Nirmala Pathmanathan said it was critical for all women over the age of 50 to have a mammogram every two years.
“Breast cancer is the most common cancer in Australian women – one in eight women will develop breast cancer by the time they turn 85,” she said.
“Breast cancers are best treated in their earliest stages and mammograms are the best way of finding breast cancer early before symptoms develop.”
The billboards will be on display until mid-May.
Breast screening clinics are located across western Sydney, including at Mount Druitt Hospital and in MYER at Westpoint, Blacktown.
To book an appointment, contact BreastScreen NSW on 13 20 50.
Westmead BCI is also keen to visit Aboriginal women’s groups based in western Sydney, including yarning circles and community bodies, who want to learn more about breast cancer awareness and the BreastScreen program.
For more information or to register your interest, contact the marketing team on 9845 9482.