Screen for life: Free breast screening for multicultural communities

MELBOURNE, 18 October 2023: New data released by Breast Screen Victoria shows that Victorians from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds have significantly lower rates (12.4%) of life-saving breast screens in comparison to the state-wide population. Only 37.1% of all CALD Victorians had a breast screen in the last two years, whereas nearly 50% (49.5%) of the state-wide population were screened in that same period.

The data comes at the same time that BreastScreen Victoria embarks on an emotive awareness campaign, prompting Victorian women to consider what they are really screening for when they screen for breast cancer.

Nadia Ghaly, BreastScreen Victoria’s Arabic Bilingual Engagement Officer, says: “During an information session in Preston last month, I had a community member tell me that their sister, daughter and niece were diagnosed with breast cancer during a routine screen. If not for regular screening, they would have lost three members of their family, who wouldn’t be around to celebrate Christmas and birthdays.

Nadia continues: “When you screen, it’s not only for yourself. You are screening for so many things – you are screening for your family and community, for adventures and special moments, for your hopes and dreams, for everything life has waiting for you.”

From 2021-22, 1,926 breast cancers were detected by BreastScreen Victoria, ensuring women could access timely care.

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Rita Butera, BreastScreen Victoria CEO, says that screening should be a top priority this Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

“Early detection is vital and ensures that appropriate steps can be taken if necessary. Breast screens are easy to access and very quick. I implore Victorian women to book in for a free breast screen this October and prioritise their health”.

Rita continues: “As an organisation, we do everything possible to ensure screening is accessible and inclusive for everyone, so whether you need translated materials, an interpreter, or the opportunity to screen with a group, we will ensure you have access to culturally appropriate services.”

You can book at breastscreen.org.au or call 13 20 50 and choose the clinic closest to your home or work.

BreastScreen Victoria has a range of translated information on https://www.breastscreen.org.au/resources/translations/

By SAT News Desk

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