Breast cancer survivors Shana Austen (left) and Judy Karam are concerned the loss of the mobile breast screening van will adversely affect women in Casino.
Breast cancer survivors Shana Austen (left) and Judy Karam are concerned the loss of the mobile breast screening van will adversely affect women in Casino.

Casino breast screen van stopped

BREAST cancer survivor Judy Karam fears the North Coast Area Health Service’s decision to stop the mobile breast screening van from coming to Casino will cost lives.

The NCAHS withdrew the vans from a number of Northern Rivers towns, including Casino, after the number of permanent breast screening sites was increased from two to four at Lismore, Coffs Harbour, Tweed Heads and Port Macquarie.

After the new fixed sites came online, the number of breast screen vans travelling to outlying centres was cut back from three to just one.

It provides a screening service to women living in the more remote and rural areas, such as Kyogle, Urbenville and Bonalbo.

Mrs Karam, whose own breast cancer was detected following a screening in the mobile van, fears that some Casino district women may opt out of breast screening if they are forced to travel to Lismore.

She is particularly concerned about younger women and those who have no family history of breast cancer.

“I was put into the breast-screening program quite early by my doctor, even though there was no history of breast cancer in my family,” Mrs Karam said.

“Would I have travelled to Lismore to have a breast screen if the van was not in Casino? I really don’t know.

“The breast screen van basically saved my life because the cancer I had was a very aggressive form. I worry there will be other women in that same position.”

Transport assistance to attend breast screening in Lismore is available for eligible women.



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