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Rural BreastScreen numbers best in the country

11 October 2018

Charters Towers, Ingham and Ayr have taken out top marks across the country, with 68 percent of women in the area participating in BreastScreen Queensland’s program – a huge step up from the country-wide average of 55 per cent.

Jean Venten, senior radiographer on BreastScreen Queensland’s Townsville mobile van, said the numbers were even more special for the dedicated staff at BreastScreen Queensland’s mobile van.

“Exactly ten years ago we became the first regional centre to receive a new digital mobile unit, so for us to see that rural communities have responded to the program with such enthusiasm is brilliant.

“Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed among women and increasing age is the biggest risk factor for the disease, which is why we’re dedicated to helping women in rural areas.

“The benefit of digitally-equipped mobile units is the ability for radiographers to immediately view the images and check the quality before a woman leaves the mobile unit, so we’re making it easier than ever for women to get early detection.”

Jean said that while early detection was the best prevention, screening can often fall by the way-side, which is why it was up to everyone to help out.

“I encourage family members, including husbands and partners, to remind the women in their lives of the importance of early detection of breast cancer and encourage them to take the time to care for their health.”

“No referral is needed, there’s no cost to bear and it’s a step that really could save your life or the life of a loved one.”

Jean noted that BreastScreen Queensland is a part of an accredited program.

“The screening mammogram takes approximately 30 minutes and afterwards women often wonder what all the fuss was about.

Townsville Hospital and Health Service Chief Executive Kieran Keyes said the BreastScreen Queensland screening facilities played an essential role in the health system.

“Queensland Health’s BreastScreen Queensland Program offers high quality, free breast cancer screening and assessment service that plays an essential part in keeping women on top of their health,” he said.

“I have always been impressed with the positive things I hear about BreastScreen in Townsville and the high quality, caring service they provide to our community.

“I’m also excited to see these numbers as it means their new facility has been wellreceived by the community.”

BreastScreen Queensland provides free, high quality breast cancer screening services to all women in Queensland aged 50-74 years, with women aged 40-49 years and over 74 are also eligible to attend.

The BreastScreen mobile van will be in the Ayr Hospital carpark until November 2.

Phone 13 20 50 for an appointment or visit

Last updated: 23 October 2018