A worrying 20 per cent drop in the number of women predicted to have mammograms has healthcare workers concerned Mackay women are neglecting their breast health.
This time last year the BreastScreen Mackay service was overbooked but January 2021 had around 100 less appointments than expected. February bookings are also looking to be lower than last year.
Sharon Keys knows all too well the importance of regular mammograms after being diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 43.
She had no signs or symptoms and no family history, so it was a shock for the mother of three to find out her diagnosis.
Listen to Sharon’s story here
Make time for you
BreastScreen Mackay clinical director Dr Wendela Schimmer said she understood it was a busy time of year but encouraged women not to put off their mammogram because it could save their life.
The process is simple, fast and designed for busy women.
“Whether you are new to BreastScreen or due for your next screen, it’s easy to make or change an appointment online,” she said.
“There are step-by-step instructions to guide you through the process and you can do at any time.
“If picking up the phone is easier for you there is always the option to call our service.
“The entire screening procedure itself is also quick only taking around 20 minutes and is one-on-one with a female health professional.”
Early detection is key
A regular breast screen remains the best way to detect breast cancer early, well before anything can be seen or felt.
“There are currently no means of preventing breast cancer, so the focus is on reducing deaths by finding cancer as early as possible,” Dr Wendela Schimmer said.
“This will maximise treatment options and reduce the likelihood of invasive treatment, such as mastectomy or chemotherapy.”
Do yourself a favour and book in today
We encourage women who are aged over 50 to do themselves and their families a favour by making sure they join this important, free program and start having a regular breast screen.
Women aged 40-49 and those over 75 are also eligible to have a free breast screen.
Appointments are available at BreastScreen Queensland Mackay Service, Wellington Street from Monday to Friday including early morning, late evening and some Saturdays.
To book in visit breastscreen.qld.gov.au or phone 13 20 50 today!