Push to increase breast screening among Italian women

Westmead’s Breast Cancer Institute (BCI) is on the hunt for breast cancer survivors from an Italian background to share their story as part of a new screening project.

The 10,000 Italian Roses project aims to raise awareness about breast screening among the Italian community, in light of startling data showing around 10,000 Italian women in NSW, aged between 50 and 74, have not had a mammogram.

Westmead BCI director A/Professor Nirmala Pathmanathan said Italian-speaking women had one of the lowest screening participation rates.

“Italian-speaking women are the second largest population being under-screened in NSW; only around one in three Italian women aged 50 – 74 have had their breasts screened.

“Finding breast cancer in its early stages can save lives, so raising awareness about the importance of screening for women from all multicultural backgrounds is critical.”

The new project, run by the NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service in partnership with several organisations including Westmead BCI, aims to use community champions to promote the screening message.

Westmead BCI is keen to recruit western Sydney-based breast cancer survivors from an Italian background to share their story as part of the project.

“This campaign is really about encouraging Italian women to prioritise breast screening,” she said.

“We want Italian-speaking women to help save the lives of their family members, friends and people in the wider Italian community, by encouraging them to have a free mammogram.

“A mammogram takes just 15 minutes and is vital, given one in eight women in NSW will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.”

It is recommended that women aged 50 to 74 have regular mammograms every two years.

To book a mammogram, contact BreastScreen on 13 20 50.

To share your story as part of the 10,000 Italian Roses project or for more information, contact Westmead BCI on (02) 8890 9482.

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