BREASTSCREEN TASMANIA TURNS 20 Mon 4 February 2013 Gail Ward The State Manager of Cancer Screening and Control Services PLEASE NOTE: A photo opportunity will be available today MONDAY 4February at BreastScreen Tasmania in Hobart - Level 4, 25 Argyle St at 10.30 AM. The State Manager, Gail Ward, will be available for interview. For similar photo opportunities in other regions of the state please call Frank Noakes from DHHS on 62338405. BreastScreen Tasmania is today celebrating 20 years of saving thousands of women's lives by detecting cancers early and improving their treatment outcomes. The organisation turns 20 today and will celebrate with its staff and clients tomorrow on World Cancer Day. The State Manager of Cancer Screening and Control Services, Gail Ward, said since opening in 1993, BreastScreen Tasmania had gone from strength to strength with a record number of women screened in 2012. "More than 28 330 women participated in the program last year improving their chances of early detection and successful treatment. "There are still more women out there who need to take the important step of picking up the phone and making an appointment. "The national target for participation in screening is for more than 70 per cent of women aged between 50 to 69 years to be screened every two years. "Our current participation rate is 58.8 per cent, so there are still women in the target age group who haven't made that all important booking yet," Ms Ward said. Screening mammograms can detect 90 per cent of breast cancers, however one screen is not enough. Eligible women should have screening mammograms every two years. In Tasmania an average of 350 women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year. Ms Ward said that if women notice any unusual persistent changes in their breasts, even if their last mammogram was clear, they should make an appointment to see their doctor. "The 20 year milestone is one that deserves to be celebrated because of the positive impact the service has had on so many Tasmanian women's lives. "Women who have their screening appointments tomorrow will be invited to join the 20th birthday celebrations by sharing some birthday cake with the dedicated BreastScreen staff across the state." BreastScreen Tasmania provides free screening mammograms to women aged 40 years and over every two years. The program targets women aged 50 to 69 years, however all women over 40 years are eligible to be screened. BreastScreen Tasmania has clinics in Hobart and Launceston and a mobile unit that visits rural and regional centres. You do not need a doctor's referral to make an appointment. To book a free screening mammogram phone 13 20 50.