Women encouraged to detect and prevent with breast and cervical screenings

Cowra nurse Jen Shady and Kay Smith from BreastScreen NSW are encouraging Cowra women to get screenings done in February and March.
Cowra nurse Jen Shady and Kay Smith from BreastScreen NSW are encouraging Cowra women to get screenings done in February and March.

Cowra women are being encouraged to make sure they are keeping up with their breast and cervical screenings with a number of free clinics in February and March.

The BreastScreen NSW mobile screening unit will be at the Cowra Showground from Monday, February 11 until Wednesday, March 27.

Kay Smith from BreastScreen NSW said one in eight women living in NSW will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.

“A mammogram, which is a breast x-ray, can detect cancers the size of a grain of rice long before they can be felt or seen by a doctor or yourself,” she said.

“Our mobile screening van is equipped with state of the art equipment ensuring the highest quality of mammograms.”

Ms Smith said women between the ages of 50 to 74 years are encouraged to have a mammogram every two years however women over 40 are eligible for a free screen.

“You do not need a doctor’s referral but we do encourage the women to bring their doctor’s details to the appointment,” she said.

“To make an appointment, call 13 20 50, women in town will be receiving their reminder notices with a code to book online or they can drop into the van to make a booking.

“20 minutes every two years for the mammogram can save a woman’s life.”

There will also be a free yarning circle on Tuesday, March 19 at the Cowra Show Society hall for local Aboriginal women.

An Aboriginal Engagement Officer will be on hand to discuss screening and the women will be invited to have a screen afterwards. Participants do not need to make a booking however can call 13 20 50 if they wish to do so.

Cowra Community Health will also be running two free cervical screening clinics at Cowra Hospital on March 14 and March 28. Nurse Jen Shady said cervical screening has replaced the pap test.

"We are having a clinic to coincide with the breast screening van,” she said.  

“The latest medical and scientific evidence shows that having a cervical screening test every five years is just as safe and is more effective than having a pap test every two years.”

Ms Shady said now women aged 25 to 74 years who have ever been sexually active should be having cervical screenings. The increase in age limit from 18 to 25 is due to the introduction of the HPV vaccination. 

“It is expected that the changes to the cervical screening program will protect up to 30 per cent more women from cervical cancer,” she said.

Appointments are free and take 20 minutes – simply ring 6340 9100 to book.

Participants do not need a doctor’s referral.

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