Why is this important?It is estimated breast cancer will become the most commonly diagnosed cancer in 2017. On average, one in eight Australian women will develop breast cancer, and one in 37 will die from breast cancer before the age of 85. Early detection provides an opportunity for early treatment, which can reduce illness and death.
Current BreastScreen Australia expansion agreements with the states and territories for the older age group are due to expire on 30 June 2017. Services delivered under these agreements have been successful in achieving increased participation for 70 to 74-year-old women nationally from 26 per cent in 2008–09 to 49 per cent in 2014–15 (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2016). States and territories make co-contributions of an estimated 50 per cent of the total cost of the expansion.
Who will benefit?Continued funding for the expansion will lead to an increase in participation by women aged 70–74, decreasing their risk of being diagnosed with advanced breast cancer and of dying from the disease.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds will have better access to the program, with the Australian Government to work with states and territories to increase participation.