June 06, 2023
Wahine Māori cancer risk up post-screening
The Breast Cancer Foundation wants Māori organisations to join its call to lift the breast screening age to 74.
Foundation researcher Adele Gautier says an increase was promised back in 2017.
Failure to raise it means one woman a month will needlessly lose her life to breast cancer.
She says there are equity reasons to both lower the start of screening for wahine Maori and extend it into their 70s.
“Wahine Maori are more likely to die of breast cancer across the board, we know that, but in their 70s they are more likely to get breast cancer in the first place than non-Maori, so although the numbers are smaller because of the smaller segment of the population, the risk is actually higher,” Ms Gautier says.
Many women assume their risk isn’t as high when free screening stops at 69 – but it just means they will miss out on the early detection that could save their lives.