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Breast Cancer Day of Shame 28 February

Breast Cancer Day of Shame 28 February

Last November, Tim and Debbie Short took the 124,000 signature Petition to Parliament seeking an expansion of the Breast Screening age 40 - 70 years from the then 50 - 64 years. We are pleased to see that the Government listened to the Petition by expanding the age 45 - 70 years two days before Debbie and Tim Short were to appear before the Health Select Committee to present their 74 page submission on the 25th of February. There is no doubt that the unprecedented support of Medical Specialists nationally and internationally in support of the Petition had an impact, with the Government having a copy of the Submission a week prior. Coupled with this, was the additional pressure of the Nationwide Protest, the Breast Cancer Day of Shame which we organised for the 28th February. However, Breast Screening from 45 years is not good enough.

We were absolutely thrilled that over 1,000 New Zealanders turned out nationwide in terrential wind and rain for the Breast Cancer Day of Shame Protest outside Labour M.P's offices throughout the country on Saturday 28th. These New Zealanders have sent a message to the Minister of Health Annette King loud and clear, that Breast Screening must start at 40 years. In younger women, the cancer is more aggressive with the peak rate of high grade cancers being in the 40 - 49 age group as confirmed by the Auckland Breast Cancer Study Group Research published in the New Zealand Medical Journal October 2003. The decision by the Minister to expand the Screening age to only 45 years instead of 40 years confounds, as the difference in Breast Cancer diagnosis between 40 - 44 years and 45 - 49 years is only 3%. The Minister says she is prepared to have another look at it in 2005 when the resu

Breast Screening from 40 years is supported by the National Party and New Zealand First. The compelling evidence exists, and the Minister of Health mustn't delay at the expense of women's lives.

Our 74 page submission can be viewed on:

Debbie and Tim Short Breast Cancer Action Trust

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