Free breast cancer screening

Breast cancer is the most common cancer for New Zealand women, with one in nine women being affected by it in their lifetime. Around 80 per cent of women who succumb to breast cancer are aged 50 years or older.

Currently, free breast cancer screening is only available for women up to the age of 69 years, which is five years behind countries like Australia, Canada and the US, who all screen up to 74 years.

Extending the breast cancer screening age will mean that over a lifetime, the number of free mammograms a woman can have will increase from 18 to 20. This will have the potential to save up to 65 lives per year.

The next National Government will extend free breast cancer screening for those aged up to 74 years

This change will keep New Zealand up to date with international best practice and will save the lives of more women.

Supporting the Breast Cancer Foundation, and other women’s health advocates also promoting this important initiative, is a top priority for National.

National is working closely with women’s health organisations to develop policies in the key areas that New Zealanders have told us really matter to them – that includes the prevention and treatment of women’s cancers.