BreastScreen WA temporarily suspended in State Response to COVID19
BreastScreen WA (BSWA), the state’s breast screening program, temporarily closed from Monday 30 March to protect clients and staff from the risk of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
All breast screening appointments at BSWA’s 15 clinics statewide including the mobile screening service have been cancelled, and no new bookings can be taken at this time.
The closure will also allow BSWA to release clinicians to support any surge demand in response to COVID-19; reduce the demand on Personal Protective Equipment which would otherwise be required if we continue to operate, and to reduce the demand on the acute sector from referrals for treatment.
BSWA has carefully considered the clinical risks around temporary closure and for clients with no symptoms; the risk of developing breast cancer during this short period is very low. We recommend that women have a breast screen every two years.
All clients will be contacted to re-schedule their appointments once it has been established it is safe to re-open.
Any clients who have been called back for additional tests (assessment) by BSWA will receive further information about their appointments.
BreastScreen WA Medical Director Dr Liz Wylie said: “It has been a difficult but necessary decision to temporarily close because the health and safety of our clients and staff is our priority.
“We want to reassure the community that the closure is not due to a suspected or confirmed case at any of our clinics. This decision has been made to safeguard our clients and staff, and to free up capacity in our health care system.
“We ask that West Australian women remain breast aware. If you are concerned about any symptoms or breast changes, please contact your doctor without delay.”
Breast changes include:
• A lump or thickening of the breast
• Any change in the nipple including direction or shape
• An unusual nipple discharge
• Any skin changes - dimpling, rashes, redness or puckering
• New persistent breast pain.
“We will open again as soon as it is safe to do so. In the meantime, we are sorry for the impact our closure will have on our clients and thank everyone for their patience and understanding at this uncertain and difficult time”, Dr Liz Wylie said.
For more information on breast cancer symptoms and further updates please continue to visit our website at www.breastscreen.health.wa.gov.au
For more information on Coronavirus (COVID-19) please visit Healthy WA.