Daffodil Day 2016 marks the start of a new era in the Peel region's fight against breast cancer, with a permanent BreastScreen WA clinic to help spearhead the campaign to increase local screening.
Officially opening the $550,000 centre today, Health Minister John Day said screening rates remained steady in Western Australia but fell short of the national target.
"We have to do better with breast screening," Mr Day said.
"This state-of-the-art clinic is about saving lives and improving the quality of life for cancer sufferers, through early diagnosis.
"The female population in the eligible 40 to 74 year-old age group in the Peel region is expected to grow by 19 per cent in the next decade. That means there will be 21,700 women in the higher-risk category, with research showing that about 2,700 of these will likely develop breast cancer."
The new, purpose-built facility replaces the visiting mobile unit which has been servicing Mandurah and the broader Peel District.
"As a result, the mobile van will now be able to spend 15 more months during each two-year testing cycle to meet the growing demand in other regional areas across the State," the Minister said.
"The Liberal National Government is proud to contribute about $1.1 million per year towards the operations of BreastScreen WA, as part of our commitment to delivering quality health care services closer to home.
"This will include jointly funding a new $296,000 awareness campaign to help lift screening rates in women aged 50-74, from 54 per cent towards the target of 70 per cent."
Testing takes less than 20 minutes and can detect tiny cancers that cannot be identified by touch. More than 75 per cent of breast cancers are found in women aged over 50.
The number of WA women receiving breast screens has grown from 103,111 in 2011-12 to 120,656 in the 2015-16 financial year
BreastScreen WA provides free breast screening mammograms every two years to women aged 40 years and over - including those with no breast cancer symptoms
One in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime
WA now has 11 permanent and four mobile BreastScreen WA clinics
80% of funding for the new clinic has come from the Australian Government under the Expansion of BreastScreen Australia Services Project Agreement
Minister's office - 6552 6200