Tasmanian women reassured on cancer detection rates


Cancer Screening and Control Services state manager Gail Ward has reassured women the decline in detection of small cancers reported by BreastScreen South Australia is not a problem in Tasmania.

Ms Ward said BreastScreen South Australia announced on 12 December 2012 that it was investigating a decrease in its detections of small cancers, including an audit of more than 50, 000 images.

"While I understand this may cause some Tasmanian women to feel anxious, I want to reassure them the BreastScreen Tasmania Service has not had a significant decrease in the number of small cancers detected," Ms Ward said.

"Tasmania's detection rates are reviewed and evaluated regularly and the Service continues to diagnose the expected number of breast cancers. 

"There has been no significant change in the cancer detection rate as has occurred in South Australia.

"Screening mammography continues to save thousands of women's lives every year, but like every medical test, it will never be 100 per cent perfect.

"As always the key message for women is to remain vigilant.

"If you notice persistent changes in your breasts, even after a clear mammogram result, see your GP."

Ms Ward said BreastScreen Tasmania will be kept informed as BreastScreen South Australia conducts its investigation.

"The cause of the decrease in South Australia is not yet clear - any number of factors may have contributed.

"Tasmanian women can remain confident in the integrity of the BreastScreen Tasmania service and should continue to participate in regular screening mammograms," Ms Ward said.

Women aged 50 to 69 are actively invited to participate in free breast screening every two years. Women aged 40 years and older are also eligible to attend.

BreastScreen appointments can be made for the cost of a local call by calling 13 20 50.


12 December 2012