Constituency Question: Breast Cancer Screening
Ms SPENCE (Yuroke) (11:55:51) — (13 841) My constituency question is for the Minister for Health. What information can the minister provide on initiatives the government is undertaking to encourage breast cancer screening for women in the Yuroke electorate? Data from BreastScreen Victoria indicates that 3759 women in the Yuroke electorate were not screened for breast cancer between 2014 and 2016. With a screening average of only 53 per cent during this time, the Yuroke electorate recorded a rate of screening lower than the statewide average.
A statistic that we all know too well is that one in eight Victorian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. However, life-saving breast screening technology can now detect cancers early, before noticeable symptoms occur. I thank the minister for her work in this area, and I look forward to hearing from her about what the government is doing to improve breast cancer detection in my electorate.
The Andrews Labor Government is strongly committed to reducing the burden of breast cancer, and works in partnership with BreastScreen Victoria to encourage and support women to participate in breast screening across the state and in the Yuroke electorate.
According to latest data from BreastScreen Victoria, the screening rate in Yuroke for 2014-16 is 53 per cent, an increase on the 52 per cent participation rate for the previous reporting period. The state average is 54 per cent.
BreastScreen Victoria has 39 permanent screening clinics across Victoria. The clinic at Broadmeadows services the local catchment area including Yuroke. BreastScreen Victoria partners with local service providers to deliver BreastScreen Victoria’s key messages and increase their ability to promote local BreastScreen services. Strong collaboration with North West Melbourne Primary Health Network has enabled general practice staff within the Yuroke electorate to more effectively promote breast screening.
With the Yuroke electorate having a rich culturally diverse population, BreastScreen Victoria has a strong focus on promoting breast screening to culturally and linguistically diverse communities, particularly as certain language groups are under-represented in screening participation. BreastScreen Victoria organises familiarity visits and group bookings at its clinics for known under-screened groups.
Following a recent increase in funding of $1.3 million by the government an additional 10,000 women can be screened. I am pleased to report that a record 253,889 Victorian women were screened by BreastScreen Victoria in 2016-17.
I commend the Member for Yuroke for her commitment to increasing breast screening among women in the Yuroke community.
Hon Jill Hennessy MP
Minister for Health