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Dr Benson-Cooper, an expert radiologist in breast imaging at Mercy Radiology / Mercy Breast Clinic, says mammography screening contributes to a 35 per cent reduction in breast cancer death rates, making check-ups all the more important.

Breast cancer is the leading form of cancer among women – and it kills. Every year over 3000 are diagnosed with breast cancer – primarily women over 45. Over 600 die from the disease every year.

But, when diagnosed early as part of a regular mammogram programme, the 10-year survival rate is 92 per cent.

“Breast cancer is a very serious problem in our community and can lead onto devastating outcomes. In New Zealand, 90-95 per cent of women diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history. So booking in for an annual screening mammogram is essential from the age of 40. ​After 55, if there are no risk factors, a two-yearly mammogram can be done,” Dr Benson-Cooper says. “We also recommend annual breast examinations by a GP.”

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For more information, please visit website of Breast Cancer Foundation.

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