Breast Screening Suspended in Regional NSW Nambucca Valley Nambucca Valley News by News Of The Area - Modern Media - August 30, 2021 Breast Screening is temporarily suspended in NSW. BREASTSCREEN NSW, as part of NSW Health, has made the decision to temporarily suspend all routine breast screening services in NSW. The decision to close was made in response to the increasing risk posed by the COVID-19 Delta strain and redeploying staff to support the pandemic response at each local health district. Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) is encouraging women to continue with their breast cancer checks despite service centres being temporarily closed across NSW. In 2020, an analysis of cancer notifications in Victoria found a 10% reduction of cancer diagnoses due to the impact of the COVID-19 restrictions, which included a temporary closure of BreastScreen Victoria services. BCNA is concerned that a similar decline in diagnoses is likely to be seen across NSW due to the stay-at-home orders, temporary closures of some NSW screening services, and community hesitancy to respond to symptoms of concern. Breast Cancer Network Australia’s Director of Policy and Advocacy, Vicki Durston said a focus must remain on early detection of breast cancer and that every effort should be made to ensure people with symptoms of concern can access the services and care that they need. “We acknowledge that every effort needs to be made to keep communities safe but breast cancer won’t wait for COVID, closing routine screening programs will delay early detection, diagnosis and potentially lifesaving treatment. “The Victorian system is still dealing with the impact of last year’s closures and the rebounding of later stage breast cancer presentations. “BCNA is calling for a national roadmap to address the impact of COVID on these and related services.” It is important that everyone attend follow up appointments and all women impacted by the BreastScreen service closures should feel reassured that as soon as services can reopen that their screening will commence. Breastscreen NSW advises if you’ve had your appointment cancelled, you will be notified by directly and as soon as possible. Appointment rescheduling will be offered when the service re-opens. Result letters will still be occurring and recalls for additional tests will still be available to attend for follow-up appointments. If you have any concerns, you can call the BCNA Helpline on 1800 500 258. The service closure announcements come this month as BCNA puts out a call to tradies across Australia in August and September, asking them to pull on a Pink Tradie beanie and a pair of BCNA pink socks to support the 20,030 Australians expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. By Sandra MOON Are you the next Pink Tradie? Breast Cancer Network Australia calls out for tradies to get involved during August and September.