Monday 5 February 2018

An Andrews Labor Government funding boost will support an extra 10,000 Victorian women to book a free lifesaving breast screen every year.

Minister for Health Jill Hennessy and Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing today at Gippsland BreastScreen announced an extra $1.35 million a year so more women than ever can access free BreastScreen Victoria services.

Finding breast cancer early before any symptoms are noticed, and when treatment is more likely to be successful, gives women the best chance of survival.

A record 253,889 women were screened for breast cancer by BreastScreen Victoria last financial year, the highest number ever.

Thanks to earlier detection and better treatments, more women are winning their battle against breast cancer, with the five-year survival rate now at 91 per cent compared to 73 per cent in 1986.

But we know we need to do more to save more lives. Breast cancer is the second most common new cancer in Victoria. In 2016, 4,334 Victorian women were diagnosed with breast cancer and 745 died from the disease.

That’s why our Victorian Cancer Action Plan 2016-20 has set an ambitious target of saving 10,000 lives from cancer in the next 10 years.

The Labor Government’s 2017/18 Victorian Budget committed an additional $14.1 million over four years to prevent cancer and increase early detection of cancer.

BreastScreen Victoria now provides services at 41 permanent screening clinics, two mobile screening vans and eight assessment clinics. The participation rate of women in the BreastScreen Victoria program in the Gippsland region is estimated at 56.3 per cent, compared to the state average of 53.8 per cent.

This funding boost will enable us to offer breast screens to more women across Victoria including Gippsland, and further increase participation in this life-saving program.

Victorian women aged between 50 and 74 are encouraged to have a free, two-yearly breast screen with BreastScreen Victoria by calling 13 20 50 or booking online. For more information, visit

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jill Hennessy

“Early diagnosis is the key to surviving breast cancer. That is why having a free, two yearly screen is so important. It could save your life or that of someone you love.”

“Demand for lifesaving breast screens is growing rapidly. An extra 10,000 appointments will ensure BreastScreen Victoria can screen record numbers of women, no matter where they live.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing

“We are making it easier for women in Gippsland to access breast screening, at a time convenient to them, and closer to home. I urge all women to not wait. Book your free breast screen today. It is quick, easy and more accessible than ever.”