Your best chance of surviving breast cancer

Women whose breast cancers are detected through screening are more likely to survive a diagnosis than those detected otherwise, according to new research.

A new study* from Cancer Council Queensland, QUT and BreastScreen Queensland has found breast cancers diagnosed through mammographic screening have a two-fold survival advantage.

The study examined population-based datasets of more than 23,000 Queensland women aged less than 90 years at diagnosis, between 1997 and 2008.

The findings show the survival benefits of mammographic screening remained consistent across Queensland, regardless of where women lived.

Participating in recommended screening gives women the best possible chance of beating breast cancer.

Women whose breast cancer is diagnosed through a breast screening program tend to have a better prognosis because they’re detected at an earlier, less-advanced stage.

This study shows women screened by BreastScreen Queensland have better survival than those not screened, even after adjusting for tumour stage.

The research also found a lower risk of death from breast cancer for those living in urban and socio-economically advantaged regions in Queensland.

Women living in rural and remote areas of Queensland are at higher risk of being diagnosed with advanced breast cancer.

Despite slightly higher rates of breast screening participation in rural and remote areas than urban areas, an urgent need remains to encourage regional women to access screening, to improve survival outcomes.

Women aged 50-74 should have a mammogram every two years.

Be breast aware and familiarise themselves with the normal look and feel of their breasts.

All women should also see a doctor immediately if they notice any unusual breast changes.

More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available via Cancer Council Helpline 13 11 20 or cancerqld.org.au.

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