Health Minister Roger Cook today announced two new breast cancer clinics to help thousands of women in Western Australia.
There will be a new permanent BreastScreen WA Clinic in Albany as well as a new Breast Screening and Assessment Centre in the northern suburbs of Perth.
The Albany clinic is expected to screen 3,000 women annually with potentially life-saving mammograms when it opens early next year, with the capacity to expand to meet future demand.
This will provide better access to both screening and early detection all year round for women in the Great Southern region.
The permanent clinic will replace the mobile facility that has been operating in Albany for more than 25 years.
The new northern suburbs clinic will combine both screening and follow-up assessment.
It is expected that the centre will undertake 860 assessments a year for women living in the northern corridor of Perth.
The centre will be co-located with a three-room mammography screening service.
The clinic will operate on a model where four days are used for screening women followed by a fifth day for assessments of detected abnormalities that require further investigation.
The new northern suburbs service is likely to be located in the Joondalup area with a targeted opening date in the second quarter of next year.
Both of the new initiatives address key areas identified in the WA Cancer Plan 2020-2025.
As stated by Health Minister Roger Cook:
“We all know someone touched by breast cancer.
“It is vital that women have access as much as possible to clinics near where they live for both early detection and treatment.
“We continue to see breast cancer affect around one in seven Australian women and more than 75 per cent of breast cancer is diagnosed in women over 50 years of age.
“Each year about 1,300 women in Western Australia are diagnosed with breast cancer. Sadly, about 250 will die of the disease.
“Regular participation in a breast screening program can reduce breast cancer mortality by a third in the target aged group.
“Early detection and early treatment saves lives.
“The WA Cancer Plan commits the McGowan Government to continual improvement of cancer services – these two clinics, in Albany and the northern suburbs, are a perfect example of policy translated into action.”
As stated by Albany MLA Peter Watson:
“After 25 years of being serviced by a part-time mobile clinic, I’m delighted that Albany will soon have a permanent breastscreen clinic.
“Women will no longer have to check their calendar and wonder when the clinic is next visiting our town?
“While the mobile clinic has done a magnificent job, the population growth is such that a permanent clinic is needed.”
As stated by Joondalup MLA Emily Hamilton:
“Early detection saves lives – a mammogram can detect a tumour as small as a single grain of rice.
“We also know, for the small percentage of women whose mammogram shows an abnormality needing further investigation it can be a very stressful and anxious time.
“On average, between 4.6 per cent of all women screened are referred for further assessment.
“The ability to get these further investigations closer to home is one small way we can help make the process a bit easier.”