Free breast screening for more NZ women will categorically save lives
Aotearoa New Zealand has the chance to save the lives of women aged 70 to 74 by including them in the free national screening programme breast cancer, Breast Cancer Foundation New Zealand (BCFNZ) says. But politicians must act.
BCFNZ chair Justine Smyth is welcoming the National Party’s election commitment to extend the current age range for breast screening from 45 to 69, to include women from 70 to 74.
“This is an important commitment that will categorically save the lives of our mums, daughters, sisters, grandmothers, and aunties,” says Ms Smyth.
“A woman’s risk of breast cancer is higher at 70 than it is at 50 and mammograms are key to early detection, especially for Māori and Pacific women who have poorer survival rates. We’ve long been advocating for women aged 70 to 74 to be included in the national breast cancer screening programme and we’re pleased to see that National has been listening.
“We want all other political parties to make the same commitment, because breast cancer cruelly takes too many women from us,” Ms Smyth says.