Free breast screening service for the Torres Strait
[by Gavin Broomhead]
Breast Screen Queensland Van. Image: supplied
Marine transport company Sea Swift has once again partnered with BreastScreen Queensland for its potentially life-saving breast screening visit for women in the Torres Strait.
Every two years, BreastScreen Queensland (Cairns service) brings its four-wheel drive mobile screening service to the Torres Strait Islands.
Breast cancer is the most-commonly diagnosed cancer in women, with one in seven women being diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.
The free screening service will visit the Torres Strait from later this month, with the following schedule in place*:
• Badu Island: 25–28 August
• Murray/Mer Island: 7–11 September
• Yorke/Masig Island: 15–22 September
• Boigu Island: 29 September–2 October
* Charters are available for other islands to access one of the above sites – see your health worker for more information.
Sea Swift General Manager Queensland Operations Peter Domenighini said Sea Swift has helped freight the breast screen truck to the Torres Strait since 2015.
“Sea Swift’s philosophy has always been to support every community where we operate, and we see the breast screening service as vital in helping to save lives,” Mr Domenighini said.
“We know that early detection is the key to surviving breast cancer, and early detection through screening offers Torres Strait Islander women the best chance of successful treatment.
“We’re once again delighted to partner with the inspirational crew at BreastScreen Queensland to help ensure this vital health service is available to local women.”
A breast screen is performed in private with a friendly female health professional, and having a breast screen once is not enough, as the risk of developing breast cancer increases as women age.
It is strongly recommended women aged 50-74 years of age have a breast screen every two years, while women who are aged 40-49 and over 75 are also welcome to have a free breast screen.
A breast screen may find changes in the breast, long before a woman or her doctor can feel a lump or notice other symptoms in the breast.
How do Torres Strait Islander women make an appointment? Booking a breast screen is very simple for women living in the Torres Strait – simply ask your local health worker to make an appointment for you and arrange travel if required.
And remember – spending 15 minutes having a breast screen could save your life.
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