Each year more than 300 New Zealanders are diagnosed with breast cancer and 600 will die from the condition. Nearly 10 percent of New Zealand women will develop breast cancer in their lives which means that 90 percent will not.

The risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer increases with age. Breast cancer is uncommon in women under 50. About 70 percent of women who are diagnosed with breast cancer and about 80 percent of women who die from it are 50 years or older

Breast Screen Aotearoa offers a FREE national breast screening program for all women aged between 45 to 69 years. Breast Screen Aotearoa aims to reduce deaths from breast cancer by regularly screening women who have no symptoms of breast cancer. The more women who have breast screening, the more likely it is that death rates from breast cancer will be reduced. Breast screening will tell you whether or not you have an increased chance of having breast cancer, not whether you actually have it.

Women with an increased chance of having breast cancer will be offered further testing to see if they do have breast cancer. Most women offered further testing will not have breast cancer. If breast cancer is found, you will be referred to a specialist for treatment. Treating breast cancer while it is still small gives you a better chance of successful treatment. Having a mammogram every two years could save your life.

Te Hiku Hauora kaimahi Faye Price is available for support and provides transport for women wanting to attend a breast screening during the visit of the mobile van to the Far North over January and March.

The mobile van will be parked at Te Oranga Whanau Service 16 Matthews Ave Kaitaia until February 24, and again March 2 to 15.It will also be heading to Te Kao, Whakawhiti Ora Pai from February 27 to March 1, with its final destination Foreshore road, opposite the Taipa Area School Marae, from March 16 to 31.

You can be assured you will be contacted by Faye to ensure you don’t miss your appointment. Please phone Te Hiku Hauora on 0800 808 4024, Faye will be more than happy to talk you through the process and answer any questions or concerns you may have.

Alternatively phone Breast Screening Aotearoa on 0800 270 200 to make an appointment with the mobile van. For more information please visit www.breastscreen.govt.nz