Participation in breast cancer screening program
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer diagnosed in Australian women and the second-most common cause of cancer related death. In 2012, 1,126 women aged 50-69 died from breast cancer, which is equivalent to 44 deaths per 100,000 women. BreastScreen Australia aims to reduce illness and deaths from breast cancer through early detection of unsuspected breast cancer, which enables early intervention. The BreastScreen Australia monitoring report 2012–2013 presents the latest national statistics in the monitoring of BreastScreen Australia, which aims to reduce illness and death resulting from breast cancer through organised screening to detect cases of unsuspected breast cancer in women, thus enabling early intervention.
According to the report, released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), more than 1.4 million women aged 50-69 had a screening mammogram through BreastScreen Australia in 2012-2013 and 2013-2014. More than half (around 55%) of women targeted over this period (women aged 50-69 years) participated in BreastScreen Australia. Participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women was significantly lower (36%) than for other women in the target group in 2012-2013.
Among remoteness areas, the highest participation rate was seen in Outer regional areas, at about 59%, compared with 53% in Major cities and 47% in Very remote areas.
There was little variation in participation across socioeconomic groups, with all groups ranging between around 52% and 56%.
While this report uses the target age group of 50-69, from 1 July 2013 the target age group of BreastScreen Australia was expanded to women aged 50-74 years. Future reports will provide statistics on this expanded target group.