Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Screening remains a vital tool for early detection

02 October 2014
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and women are being urged to focus on their breast health through regular self-examination and screening.

Director of the Wesley Breast Clinic, Dr Lisa Erzetich, said screening mammograms remain the only statistically proven method for reducing deaths from breast cancer.

“Breast cancer is still the most common cancer to affect women in Australia, with one in eight women diagnosed in their lifetime,” she said. “Breast cancer is also the second highest cause of cancer-related death among Australian women.

“Early detection is important to achieving the best possible outcomes for patients, and regular mammographic screening remains the most effective tool to detect breast cancer.”

The Wesley Breast Clinic, which is now in its 32nd year of operation, is a multidisciplinary facility established to promote the early diagnosis of breast cancer and provide screening and diagnostic services for a wide spectrum of breast disorders. As many as 60 per cent of women will experience benign breast changes that may cause them concern.

The Breast Clinic sees more than 23,000 patients each year and provides state-of-the-art digital mammography, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and ultrasound imaging, a screening clinic for asymptomatic patients, diagnostic services for symptomatic patients, and a family history clinic for people who carry breast cancer genes or have a strong family history of breast cancer.

Results of screening and diagnostic assessments are usually available on the day of the patient’s visit, and pathology results are usually available the next working day. Some more complex procedures require a second dedicated appointment.

The Clinic’s experienced medical officers, surgeons, radiologists, radiographers, sonographers, and breast care nurses are supported by dedicated administration staff and volunteers.

Wendy Skelcey, 60, has been volunteering at the Clinic for the past nine years, escorting women to appointments and offering a friendly and supportive presence in the patient lounge.

“It’s a very active volunteering role and I love it,” she said. “I understand if women may be feeling anxious. I have been coming to the Clinic for annual screening for the past 20 years since my GP recommended screening when I turned 40.

“Everyone leads such busy lives, it is easy for people to forget, or put things like screening and health check-ups aside. Being proactive about our health is important.”    
For appointments at the Wesley Breast Clinic, phone 07 3232 7202; for general inquiries phone 07 3232 7246 or visit  Women aged 40 or over who are not experiencing symptoms do not need a referral for a mammogram screening appointment.


Media inquiries: Karen Milliner, Compass Communications Group, 3839 7605 or 0412 443 116.

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