Mrs Skinner was joined by NSW Chief Cancer Officer Professor David Currow as she inspected the van at an industrial site at Minto, in Sydney’s south-west, where final fit-out is nearing completion.
Member for Campbelltown Bryan Doyle and Pat Farmer, the Liberal candidate for Macquarie Fields, were on hand to tour the van.
The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government invested $8.8 million in the new, state-of-the-art fleet, with $4.4 million contributed by the Federal Government.
“The 12 new vans will join three of the existing fleet in bringing outstanding mammography services directly to more than 150 towns and cities across the state,” Mrs Skinner said.
“More than a quarter of all BreastScreen NSW mammograms are delivered from mobile services and more than half of all regional and rural women receive their breast screens in this way.
“The new-age fleet will travel a combined total of more than 50,000 kilometres every two years.
“I am delighted women all over the state will have access to a state-of-the art screening and detection service,” Mrs Skinner said.
Enhancements in the new vans, which were designed and built in the US, include:
• upgraded digital mammography equipment;
• a secure wireless communication system for instant transfer of diagnostic images to the state-wide BreastScreen service for analysis by radiologists and breast physicians;
• an electronic ramp for wheelchair accessibility;
• improved air-conditioning
The first of the new vans is scheduled to arrive at Lismore next week to commence a travelling service for women in the Northern NSW Local Health District and the Mid North Coast Local Health District.
In coming months, more of the new BreastScreen NSW vans will be deployed to sites including Hunter New England, Central Coast and throughout Sydney.
The Cancer Institute NSW manages the state-wide breast screening program, which is delivered by Local Health Districts.
Professor Currow, who is chief executive of the Cancer Institute NSW as well as the state’s Chief Cancer Officer, said the vans will help support early detection for the one in eight women in NSW affected by breast cancer in their lifetime.
“A woman diagnosed with breast cancer in NSW today has among the highest chances of survival in the world. However, we know that early detection is the key to survival,” he said.
“These mammograms can detect cancers before they can be seen or felt. If detected early, survival from breast cancer can be as high as 97 per cent.
“It is vital for all women aged between 50 and 74 to have a mammogram every two years at a BreastScreen NSW clinic. It is a free service that could save your life.”