Breast cancer accounted for 28.2 per cent of all new cancers in women in 2008, and is the most common cancer – excluding non-melanoma skin cancers – that affects Australian women.
A report released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) on October 17 found that over 1.7 million women had a screening mammogram in 2009-10 through BreastScreen Australia, with 1.3 million of those screened belonging to the target age group.
The report found that 55 per cent of the program's target age group, women aged 50 to 69, were screened in 2009-10.
"BreastScreen Australia aims to reduce illness and deaths from breast cancer through early detection of unsuspected breast cancer, which allows early intervention", said AIHW spokesperson Lisa McGlynn.
Breast screening participation was highest in outer regional areas and fared lowest in very remote areas.
"To improve access for women in remote and very remote locations, states and territories use relocatable screening services, mobile screening vans and community buses to overcome transport barriers," Ms McGlynn said.
The program was introduced in 1991 and since then, breast cancer deaths for women aged 50 to 69 have reduced from 68 to 43 deaths per 100,000 women.
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