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Screening Report Is Good News For NZ Women

Screening Report Is Good News For New Zealand Women

A recently released report into the long-term benefits of breast screening programmes is good news for women, according to The New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation.

The report states that a mammographic screening programme, based in Sweden, resulted in an almost two-thirds reduction in breast cancer mortality.

Dr Belinda Scott, chair, and Dr Sally Urry of the Foundation's medical advisory committee, say the Swedish report's findings highlight the potential for dramatically reducing the mortality associated with breast cancer in this country.

Dr Scott says: "It also emphasises the significance of the Foundation's ongoing campaign to raise women's awareness of this important health issue."

The study, reported in Cancer 2001, compared mortality data from three successive periods over almost 30 years in two counties in Sweden - the first period between 1968 and 1977, when no screening was offered; the second period between 1978 and 1987, when a group of women who were screened were compared against a control group that were not; and the third period, when all women aged 40 to 69 years were offered mammographic screening. The mortality rate fell significantly for all women screened. In the third period, if fell by a striking 63 per cent, compared to the first period when no screening was available.

Dr Urry describes the report as very important in the evaluation of breast screening.

"The Swedish results have been achieved in a well organised programme. An 85 per cent compliance rate has been achieved within the female population, aged 40 to 69 years, all of whom were invited to undergo regular mammography," she says. "This is an ambitious and challenging goal for breast screening in New Zealand."

For further information on breast health or the Foundation visit http://www.nzbcf.org.nz

Ends


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