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Health Select Committee Decision Will Cost Lives

Thu, 26 Aug 2004

Health Select Committee Decision Will Cost Lives

The Health Select Committe today reported back today on the 124,000 signature Breast Screening Petition of Debbie and Tim Short calling for Breast Screening to be increased to 40 - 70 years that was presented to Parliament in November 2003. In February the Government went part way in announcing an expansion 45 - 69 years.

The Health Select Committee reported that prior to a U.K. study on Breast Screening to be released in 2005, the evidence didn't support lowering further to 40 years. The Short's say: Lack of evidence is nonsense!

Debbie and Tim Short submitted a 74 page submission that was supported by New Zealand and International expert evidence e.g. World Experts Prof. Laszlo Tabar's and Prof. Stephen Duffy whose 20 year Trial published in the Lancet April 2003 showed a 48% mortality decrease when Screening started from 40 years. The American Cancer Society also recommend all women to be screened from 40 years, as do all New Zealand Breast Cancer organisations, based on the evidence.

We are not going to stand back and watch this Government majority stacked Committee cost women's lives.

We, that is the Breast Cancer Action Trust, are setting up a programme to subsidize Mammography cost in younger women. We call on New Zealanders to help us and donate to the Breast Cancer Action Trust at any A.N.Z. Bank.

We congratulate the National Party at its recent conference, who unanimously passed a Policy remit on Breast Screening from 40 years. This will become a clear election issue for women and families.

Debbie and Tim are standing for the Bay of Plenty Health Board as the "Better Deal Cancer Lobby" and can guarantee to be outspoken in giving the Minister of Health continued heat on this issue.

New Zealand has a survival rate of Breast Cancer that is 28% worse than Australia who have had free Mammography from 40 years for 12 years - what part don't they understand???? Clearly early detection saves lives. In October 2003 it was published in the New Zealand Medical Journal that Breast Cancer in younger women advances more rapidly.

The Government is more interested in Social Engineering than in women's lives, and listening to 124,000 people who signed the Petition.


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