Thursday, April 26, 2018

Cancer screening boost for women with disabilities

sadviser October 26, 2011

A new initiative to help increase cancer screening of women with an intellectual disability was announced on Monday by Community Services Minister, Mary Wooldridge.
The Victorian Coalition Government is providing $93,000 to assist Cancer Council Victoria, PapScreen and BreastScreen in increasing awareness and participation in screening for women with an intellectual disability.
Ms Wooldridge said a new Victorian population health survey of people with an intellectual disability shows women with an intellectual disability are less likely to be screened for breast and cervical cancer.
The survey found only 55 per cent of women with an intellectual disability aged 50-69 years had a mammogram in the past two years, compared to 76 per cent of women in the general Victorian population.  Only 15 per cent of women with an intellectual disability aged 20-69 years had a pap test in the past two years, compared to 71 per cent of women generally. 
“Screening saves lives, so it is important some of Victoria’s most vulnerable women don’t miss out,” said Ms Wooldridge. “We need to better inform women with an intellectual disability and health professionals to successfully close the screening gap.”
Cancer Council Victoria CEO, Todd Harper said the funds will allow the Cancer Council to develop resources and partner with organisations to assist women with an intellectual disability.
“We know screening such as mammography and pap tests improves the likelihood of cancer being detected at an early stage, which significantly improves the chances of the cancer being treated successfully,” said Mr Harper. “We are extremely pleased this funding will allow us to improve our engagement with women with an intellectual disability to ensure they have the same opportunity to access breast and cervical screening as women in the general population.”
The Victorian population health survey of people with an intellectual disability was conducted by the Victorian Department of Health. It contains a wide range of information relating to the health of adults with an intellectual disability and the determinants of that health.