NSLHD News May 8

breast screening to reopen across northern sydney Northern Sydney’s

breast screening service is preparing to reopen following a temporary pause to protect clients and staff from the risk of COVID-19. It is one of the first services to re- commence at the hospital on 13 May. BreastScreen NSW has been closed since late-March to limit the transmission of COVID-19 and prioritise the wellbeing of women, staff and the community. More than 7400 women in Northern Sydney have had their appointments deferred since the service has been closed. Director of BreastScreen NSW in Northern Sydney and Central Coast Meredith Kay said one in seven women in NSW will develop breast cancer in their lifetime and having a regular screening mammogram is the most effective way to find breast cancer early in women aged over 50. Meredith said extensive planning has been done around prioritising and accommodating women in a timely manner when services reopen. “We’re putting in place strategies to ensure women feel safe – such as spacing out appointments, and looking at how we can extend our operations time to include out of hours and weekends,” she said.

Meredith Kay

“We thank everyone for their patience and ask that women wait at least two weeks for their invitation from BreastScreen NSW before attempting to make an appointment. “During this time we encourage women to stay breast aware and if an unusual breast change is found to contact BreastScreen NSW or their GP. The best attack for breast cancer is early detection.” While COVID-19 may be resulting in increased family stress at this time, Meredith stressed the importance of women

continuing to look out for their health as well as their families. “While often we don’t put ourselves first, it is important for your family that you look after yourself and if you have any slight concern contact us.” The Northern Sydney screening service will reopen initially at Royal North Shore Hospital followed by Brookvale Community Health Centre and Hornsby Hospital. Contact BreastScreen NSW on 132 050 for further information.



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