Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt is urging far north women to book in for a breast screen at the Cairns BreastScreen Queensland service this month.

Mr Pitt said Breast Cancer Awareness Month was an excellent opportunity to highlight breast cancer screening and encourage more women to care for their health.

“The Bligh Government is committed to giving Queensland women access to a free, state-of-the-art screening service close to home,” Mr Pitt said.

“That’s why we’re investing over $35 million in breast cancer screening services across the state in 2011-2012.”

Mr Pitt said this year, the BreastScreen Queensland Program celebrated 20 years of providing dedicated service and support to Queensland women.

“To date, the Program has performed almost three million breast screens and provided around 200,000 follow up assessment services for Queensland women,” he said.

Mr Pitt said all women were invited to take advantage of the free, world-class, professional and modern services offered by BreastScreen Queensland.

“The local Cairns BreastScreen Queensland Service is located at First Floor, Cairns Medical Specialist Centre, 193-197 Lake Street, Cairns

“A mobile BreastScreen service will also visit centres in far north Queensland

“I encourage women to ring 13 20 50 and make an appointment.

“Fast and efficient screening services saves time for busy women and digital mammography technology allows breast images to be checked immediately for quality.

“The technology is so advanced that an appointment only takes around 15 to 20 minutes in a one-on-one appointment with a female health professional.”

Mr Pitt said breast cancer remains the most commonly diagnosed cancer among Queensland women.

“BreastScreen Queensland can detect early stages of breast cancer before any signs or symptoms can be felt or noticed,” Mr Pitt said.

“Of those diagnosed, three out of four are over 50, making the disease a health issue close to the hearts of many Queenslanders.

“If your mother or grandmother is aged between 50 and 69 it’s very important that they keep their regular breast screen appointment every two years.

“Women are encouraged to take along a friend or a group of friends and turn a BreastScreen appointment into an opportunity to take some time-out for themselves

“It is very important to diagnose breast cancer in its early stages as this is the key to achieving better outcomes and quality of life.”

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Mr Pitt said another way to get involved in Breast Cancer Awareness Month was to hold a ‘Girls Night In’ fundraising event.

“Women can get together with their friends by organising fundraising events such as bring-a-plate evenings, board game competitions or arranging a DVD night.

“The funds raised by Girls Night In events support research by the Cancer Council into improved prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.”

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