•First of four new mobile digital mammogram units for regional WA opened
•Additional three to be rolled out over coming months
•The units will visit 97 locations across regional and remote WA over the next two years
THE first of four new state-of-the-art mobile digital mammogram units has been opened in Mandurah by Health Minister Kim Hames.
Dr Hames said the additional three units would be opened in coming months, ultimately resulting in visits to 97 locations across regional and remote Western Australia over the next two years.
“The use of digital technology in mobile units is expected to reduce unnecessary recalls following initial mammograms, enable faster test results and enhance the screening experience for women,” he said.
The units were part of joint funding from the Federal Government, which contributed $13.4million through the Health and Hospital Fund and the State Government, which contributed $800,000 through its Medical Equipment Replacement Program.
The funding has also resulted in the installation of 16 new digital mammography machines in Perth clinics.
The Mandurah unit will remain on-site until December this year.
“The new mobile screening units will also offer improved accessibility for wheelchair users and people who are mobility impaired thanks to the inclusion of an automated wheelchair lift and an improved internal layout,” the Minister said.
“The sobering fact is that nearly 250 women die from breast cancer each year in WA and one in nine Australian women is at risk of developing the disease in their lifetime.
“The best way to reduce the number of deaths from the disease is to detect and treat breast cancer as early as possible.”
•BreastScreen WA is a free screening service for women aged over 40 who do not have any breast symptoms
•The program specifically targets women aged 50 to 69 years who are encouraged to have a mammogram every two years
•Women of all ages who have a concern about a breast symptom should visit their GP