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Breast screen in Australia helps reduce mortality rate of cancer
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New figures released on Wednesday show that national breast screening has helped reduce the proportion of women dying from the breast cancer.

"It's likely that the BreastScreen Australia program has played a role in this decrease certainly, but there's also been a lot of improvements in treatment for breast cancer over this time, " report co-author Alison Budd told Australian Associated Press.

Dr Budd says one of the aims of the screening is to maximize the number of small cancers found because early detection leads to better treatment and improved survival.

The report shows over the decade to 2006, the proportion of invasive breast cancers detected that were small remained above 60 percent.

The report reveals that in 2006, 1,061 women aged 50 to 69 died from breast cancer in Australia. Breast cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in Australia.

BreastScreen Australia targets women aged 50 to 69, as those most at risk.

In 1991, 230 women per 100,000 in that age group developed breast cancer, and 67 died, according to an Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report.

But by 2005, although there were 279 new cases for every 100, 000 women, the mortality rate had dropped to 47.5 - the lowest level since the program began.

(Xinhua News Agency August 26, 2009)

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