The City of Whittlesea will be one of eight new permanent BreastScreen Victoria locations, allowing greater access to preventative breast scans and specialist treatment to find cancer early.

Other locations where a new BreastScreen Victoria centre will be built include Greater Geelong/Surf Coast Shire and the cities of Casey, Melton and Moreland.

They will be established progressively and are expected to be completed by January 2025.

Three temporary sites, including at Craigieburn, will also be converted into permanent sites.

Minister for Health Martin Foley said the new sites would provide more opportunities for people to access screening early.

“When it comes to breast cancer, early detection is the key to survival,” he said.

“That’s why having a free, two-yearly screen is so important and could save your life.”

The new services are part of a $20 million boost in the Victorian Budget 2022/23 and are expected to deliver breast screening services to an additional 36,000 eligible people.

The funding will also support the expansion BreastScreen Victoria’s Reading and Assessment services, RAS, in Parkville and Monash, as well as support strategies to increase the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women accessing services.

BreastScreen Victoria currently provides services at 46 permanent screening clinics, with around six per cent of clients called back to a RAS for further investigation.

Minister for Women Gabrielle Williams encouraged people to get a screening to detect cancer early.

“We’re delivering breast screening services to thousands more Victorians every year and I urge all Victorians not to wait,” she said.

“Book your free breast screen today. It is quick, easy and more accessible than ever.”

Breast cancer mortality rates have decreased by almost two per cent per year since 1994, however in 2020, 4575 Victorian women were diagnosed and 766 died.

The Victorian Cancer Plan 2020-2024 has set targets to reduce the harm caused by all cancers and save 10,000 lives by 2025.

BreastScreen Victoria provides free breast screening for eligible Victorians without symptoms every two years.

To book an appointment, people can call 13 20 50 or visit www.breastscreen.org.au.

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