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BreastScreen Queensland saving lives for 25 years

AnneMarie White never saw herself as the sort of person to get cancer, but she did.

"I was called back after my fourth regular breastscreen because there was a tiny, tiny dot they were concerned about. They did a needle biopsy straight away," she said.

"The results came back that it was cancer, a very aggressive and fast-growing one. Within four or five days I'd had surgery to remove it.

"I couldn't believe such a tiny dot could be so bad. I was healthy, incredibly fit and I also had regular checks.

"It's been 13 years now and I'm fine, and I'm living proof that a breast screen can save your life."

Beginning with three small clinics located across the state, BreastScreen Queensland has a lot to celebrate as the program looks back over the last 25 years.

For Brisbane resident and BSQ ambassador AnneMarie White, the program's milestone is a reminder that regular breast screening can save a woman's life.

Back in 1991, the program screened less than 5,000 women in its first year at its three BreastScreen services located at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Gold Coast and Townsville.

With free services provided at more than 200 locations across the state and more than 250,000 women screened last financial year things have really changed 25 years on.

Queensland Chief Health Officer, Dr Jeannette Young said Queensland had a strong history of providing Queensland women with quality breast cancer screening services.

"BreastScreen Queensland has performed more than 4.7 million breast screens for women aged 50 to 69 years," Dr Young said.

"Queensland has the third highest breast screening rate in Australia at 57.3 per cent of women aged 50 to 69, ahead of the national rate of 54.5 per cent.

"Around 650 women have a breastscreen every day, and over its history, this has led to more than 19,000 Queensland women being diagnosed with breast cancer.

"We've also seen the five-year survival rate increase to 90 per cent which is up from 74 per cent in the late 1980s."

BreastScreen Queensland Brisbane Northside Service Medical Director Dr Jane Brazier said the program is the only nationally accredited breast cancer screening provider in Queensland which ensures women receive a high quality service.

"Queensland was the first state to transition all services to state-of-the-art digital mammography equipment," Dr Brazier said.

"Plus, every woman's images are carefully examined by two specially-trained doctors. Both doctors work independently so there is always a second opinion.

"Having two pairs of skilled eyes analysing every woman's breastscreen means the reading is as accurate as it can possibly be."

For more information visit our website at http://www.breastscreen.qld.gov.au/ or to book your free breastscreen appointment call 13 20 50

Last updated: 24 August 2016