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Press Release: Breast Cancer Action Trust

Press Release Breast Cancer Action Trust

"Four years ago on November 18th, 2003, Debbie and Tim Short and family presented a 124,000 signature petition to Parliament calling for the Breast Screening age of eligibility to be expanded from the then 50 - 64 years to 40 - 70 years. As a result of this Petition in 2004 the Government did expand the Breast Screening Programme to 45 - 69 years.

However, Tim Short, Trustee of Breast Cancer Action Trust and husband of Debbie Short, a Breast Cancer Survivor, says published data has so far had little impact on the mortality with Breast Cancer survival still at least 28% worse than Australia. Australia continues to far out perform New Zealand in this area and we should be mirroring what they are doing so well. In Australia, since 1992, even women outside of their Breast Screening Programme can get access to State funded mammography. To mirror Australia, New Zealand should be funding mammograms for women from 40 - 45 years and from 69 - 79 years.

More emphasis needs to be placed on early detection as clearly the best prognosis and treatment outcomes will always be dependant on how early the cancer patient is diagnosed. There is a huge toll on a cancer family and also when it is not diagnosed early, the additional cost of medical treatment to New Zealand is many fold. Following on from New Zealand's first Breast Cancer Conference in Rotorua last month, free access to mammograms outside of the Breast Screening Programme that mirrors Australia, would be a positive way forward."


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