Breast screening call

Byron Council is to call on federal and state health ministers to reinstate the mobile breast screening service to the Byron and Ballina Shires.

Cr Diane Woods, who moved the motion at last week’s council meeting, said the decision earlier this year by the North Coast Area Health Service to cut the service was an ‘absolute disgrace’.

She said women who wanted a mammogram now had to go to Lismore or Tweed Heads.

“There are a lot of people around here who don’t have cars, and public transport is just about non-existent,” she said.

Cr Woods said she had three immediate family members who had been affected by breast cancer and she had seen the ‘hell’ of it.

The mobile screening service, she said, was an essential service and it had to be brought back.

Figures obtained by the Byron News earlier this year from the NSW Cancer Institute showed that in the NCAHS area, 1747 women were diagnosed with breast cancer in the five-year period to 2006.

Of those, 92 cases were from the Byron Shire and 150 from Ballina.

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