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Breastscreen Aotearoa Latest Monitoring Report

Breastscreen Aotearoa Latest Monitoring Report Shows Strengthening Programme

Almost half of women aged 50-64 (139,286 women) received mammograms through BreastScreen Aotearoa during its first 21 months of operation according to a monitoring report released today.

National Screening Unit Clinical Director Dr Julia Peters says the 6th Monitoring Report for BreastScreen Aotearoa continues to show strong improvement by all providers as the national programme's enrolment rate grows during its development phase.

"The report shows that all six Programme providers are succeeding in the most important aspects of the programme, namely screening women and diagnosing and enabling treatment of breast cancer at a very early stage.

"As a result in the 21 months to the end of September 2000, 956 women were diagnosed with cancer through the programme. Of the 139,000 women aged between 50-64 who were screened by the programme some 9,400 or 6.8% were referred for assessment because of an abnormality detected at the time of screening," Dr Peters says.

"Early detection is a woman's best protection. We will continue working to break the myths about breast screening that still inhibit many women from accessing mammography. It's also important that women are aware that the level of service offered by BreastScreen Aotearoa is of a very high quality and subjected to regular monitoring.

"The National Screening Unit is working with BSAIMG to improve its ability to fully monitor all aspects of the national programme which will in turn set the standard for monitoring health services in New Zealand," Dr Peters says.

Ends

For more information contact: Kallon Basham, National Screening Unit Ph: (04) 496 2385; Mob: 025 897 521 For a copy of the report: http://www.healthywomen.org.nz

Background Information - How the BSA Independent Monitoring Group Reports work and the importance of routine monitoring

BreastScreen Aotearoa operates in accordance with rigorous quality standards and is routinely monitored by the BreastScreen Aoteoroa Independent Monitoring Group (BSAIMG). Routine monitoring of national screening programmes is essential to ensure quality and enables identification and resolution of problems at an early stage. For this reason the BSAIMG is a key component in the success of the national breast screening programme - BreastScreen Aotearoa.

The reports they provide contain analysis of data that is transferred to the Independent Monitoring Group every three months and represents one of a number of tools that are drawn upon to develop the national programme during its still early days of development. BreastScreen Aotearoa was launched in December 1998.

The sixth report released in March - which covers the period 1 July to 30 September 2000 - shows strong progress made against previous reports. The reports show a progressive increase in the amount of monitoring data supplied by programme providers during the first 21 months of the programme's existence.


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