MORE LIFE-SAVING BREAST SCREENS FOR THE COAST

About 10,000 women will be offered free, life-saving mammograms every year at a new $957,000 BreastScreen NSW centre at Erina on the Central Coast.

Minister for Health and Medical Research Brad Hazzard today joined Member for Terrigal Adam Crouch and Taylor Martin MLC to officially open the new state-of-the-art facility, which will boost breast screening capacity by 20 per cent on the Central Coast.

“I particularly encourage women on the Central Coast aged over 50 to take 20 minutes every two years to visit this great new centre – the screening is free, you don’t need a doctor’s referral and it is potentially life-saving,” Mr Hazzard said. “One in eight women in NSW will develop breast cancer in their lifetime and the earlier it is detected, the better the outcome.”

Mr Crouch said the cutting-edge facility will enable 1,500 more local women in the next year alone to be screened. “The centre is also working with local community networks to increase the number of Aboriginal women who attend for a regular breast screen,” Mr Crouch said.

The centre features an additional $450,000 of equipment, including a digital mammography unit, and an imaging unit that will provide instant, high-quality specimen images during biopsy procedures.

The centre offers free mammograms to women over 40. Women in the 50-74 age group are encouraged to have a breast screen every two years.

The centre, previously based at Gosford Hospital, also has free, accessible parking and extended opening hours. BreastScreen NSW Northern Sydney Central Coast Director Meredith Kay said the centre would provide an enhanced service in the rapidly growing region.

“This centre will improve patient comfort and help staff provide the best care and support during what can be a very anxious time for women,” Ms Kay said.