Bendigo West MP Maree Edwards today unveiled a new mammography machine at Bendigo Health, which will enhance the ability to detect breast cancer in some high risk women.
The $320,000 machine, funded through the Andrews Government medical equipment replacement program, has the capability to take 3D images and will be the first machine in Bendigo to offer contrast-enhanced mammography.
Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards said it will be the first time the improved technology was available in the public system in northern Victoria.
“It’s an important development for women’s health in Bendigo and the wider region”.
“This is another step in fighting cancer in our region”, Ms Edwards said.
Bendigo Health chair Bob Cameron said the new technology will improve the hospital’s capacity to diagnose and treat breast cancer patients.
“We’ll be able to care for more patients, more often,” he said.
“The new machine conducts diagnostic tests for women with a history of breast cancer or those experiencing symptoms. Bendigo Health sees 2000 patients, on average, each year for these type of tests.”
The diagnostic test is different to a breast screen, which is recommended for healthy women aged between 50 and 74.
Latest figures from the Victorian Cancer Registry show 1597 Loddon Mallee residents were diagnosed with breast cancer from 2012-17, an average of 266 per year.
The estimated five-year prevalence of breast cancer in the region in 2017, based on the high expected survival rate, was 1530.
Bendigo Health imaging staff are now undergoing training to ensure the benefits and features the new technology are used to optimise patient care.