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Special invitation extended to women up to 74 years

BreastScreen Queensland has expanded the invitation for free breast screening to include women aged 70-74.

BreastScreen Queensland State Radiologist Janet Gray said early detection saved lives and all Queensland women between the ages of 50 and 74 should be screened every two years.

"Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women and the second highest cause of cancer-related death in Queensland women," Dr Gray said.

"A breast screen every two years is a good way to maintain breast health and the most effective way to detect breast cancer early."

Dr Gray said breast cancer could develop at any time, therefore it was important to know the normal look and feel of your breasts and be aware of any unusual changes, such as:

• a new lump or lumpiness in your breasts, especially if it is in only one breast;

• a change in the size and shape of your breast;

• a change to the nipple such as crusting, an ulcer, redness or the nipple pulled in;

• a discharge from your nipple that happens without squeezing the nipple;

• a change in the skin of your breast such as redness or dimpling or puckered skin; and

• a pain that does not go away.

"Most breast changes will not be due to breast cancer but if you notice any change that concerns you, please contact your doctor without delay. It is also a good idea to ask your doctor to check your breasts as part of your regular health check," Dr Gray said.

Since the introduction of the BreastScreen Queensland in 1991, more than 3 million breast screens, 200,000 assessments, and more than 13,000 breast cancers have been detected.

Deaths from breast cancer have declined by 28 per cent and survival rates have improved to approximately 89 per cent.

Dr Gray said all breast screens were independently reviewed by two specially trained, doctors.

"Appointments are one-to-one with a female health professional. The appointment takes about 30 minutes and does not require a doctor’s referral," she said.

Women can book their breast screen appointment at any BreastScreen Queensland service across the State by calling 13 20 50.

The BreastScreen Queensland program provides free, high-quality breast cancer screening and assessment services targeting women aged 50 - 74 years as this is the age group who benefit the most from breast cancer screening. Women aged 40 - 49 years and 75 years and over are also eligible to participate in the program.

Last updated: 4 July 2016