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Support For Extension To Free Breast Screening

24 November 2003
RELEASE

Support For Extension To Free Breast Screening

The National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) has been a strong advocate of the National Breast Screening Programme in its present form, but in light of new evidence, supports the extension of the Programme’s free mammograms for women between the ages of 40 and 70.

“NCWNZ supports extending the Programme for women up to 70 years of age, as is currently proposed by the Minister” said Beryl Anderson, National President of NCWNZ. “However, we would strongly advocate seeing the Programme further extended to include women aged from 40, particularly where there is a family history of breast cancer.”

Evidence now shows that screening younger women saves lives as the risk factor for women rises from one in 600 at age 40 to one in 200 at 45 years of age.

Changes to the current Screening Programme would give New Zealand women the same screening care experienced in many other countries.

“It makes sense to include these younger women in a Programme purporting to be proactive in the early detection of breast cancer”, said Beryl Anderson. “These women need our support and the earlier the detection and treatment of these cancers the better the prognosis is for their future and those of their families.”

ENDS

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