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27 Oct 2020

BreastScreen SA has recorded its busiest month since the program was first established more than 30 years ago.

BreastScreen SA Program Director, Niamh Wade, said the service performed 10,113 free breast screens in September compared to 7,232 in 2019 and 8,674 two years ago.

“We have been amazed at the incredible response we have received from the women of South Australia who have helped us reach our highest number of screens in a single month,” Ms Wade said.

“Screening numbers for September were up by almost 40 per cent on last year and 16 per cent for the year before. It was also a 10 per cent jump on the average number of bookings for the month of September.

“This has helped the program maintain its commitment to the women of South Australia, which is ensuring women across the state receive this vital health-check in a timely manner.

“We would like to thank the women of South Australia for making their health a priority, and for their patience as we continue to work hard to meet demand for both our screening and assessment services.”

BreastScreen SA suspended its breast screening program at the end of March due to COVID-19.

The program resumed in April and continues to offer appointments at its seven metropolitan screening clinics and three mobile units, with the addition of pop-up clinics at the Port Lincoln Hospital and the Southern Fleurieu Health Service.

BreastScreen SA Clinical Director, Dr Michelle Reintals, said new health protocols under COVID-19 had meant appointment times were longer when the service first resumed, and this combined with high demand has meant some women may have to wait slightly longer for an appointment.

“BreastScreen SA provides free screening mammograms for South Australian women aged 50-74, with the aim of diagnosing breast cancer at an early stage, before it can be felt,” Dr Reintals said.

“If you are due for your two-yearly screening mammogram, and you have no symptoms of breast cancer, please make a booking with us as soon as possible so you are not delayed with your screening.

“If you have noticed any unusual changes to the look and feel of your breasts, you will need to see your GP as soon as possible to have them investigated before you can have a breast screen. Screening mammograms are not suitable for women with breast symptoms, as more detailed tests are needed.”