BreastScreen Australia monitoring report 2009-10

Public health Australia

BreastScreen Australia aims to reduce illness and death resulting from breast cancer through organised screening of women. This report is the latest in an annual series that presents national statistics monitoring the program against performance indicators.

Key findings:

How many women were diagnosed with, or died from, breast cancer? 

In 2008, there were 6,948 new cases of invasive breast cancer diagnosed in Australian women aged 50-69 (or 294 women diagnosed per 100,000 women in the population). This equates to around 19 women aged 50-69 diagnosed with this disease every day.

In 2010, a total of 1,098 women aged 50-69 died from breast cancer (or 43 per 100,000 women in the population). This equates to around 3 women dying from this disease every day, making breast cancer the second most common cause of cancer-related death for Australian women after lung cancer.

How many women participated in BreastScreen Australia? 

More than 1.3 million women aged 50-69 had a screening mammogram through BreastScreen Australia in 2009-2010. This was 55% of women in the target age group.

While participation increased with improving socioeconomic status, this trend was small, with all socioeconomic groups of women aged 50-69 recording participation rates between 53% and 56%.

The difference between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous women was greater, with 36% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women aged 50-69 having a screening mammogram in 2009-2010, compared with 55% of non-Indigenous women.

How many women were recalled for further investigation? 

In 2010, 12% of women aged 50-69 screened for the first time were recalled for further investigation; for women attending subsequent screens, 4% were recalled.

How many women had a small breast cancer detected? 

Small breast cancers (≤15mm in diameter) are associated with better treatment options and improved survival. A high proportion of invasive breast cancers detected in women aged 50-69 were small-around half (47%) of invasive breast cancers detected in those attending their first screen, and nearly two-thirds (63%) in those attending subsequent screens.

Publication Details