More Nova Scotia women are benefitting from early cancer detection because of the Nova Scotia Breast Screening Program, which celebrates its 20th anniversary today, Oct. 14. “The single most effective way to detect breast cancer early is to be screened regularly,” said Paula English, chief of program standards and quality, Department of Health and Wellness. “The Nova Scotia Breast Screening Program makes it easier for every woman in the province who should be screened to have regular mammograms easily and conveniently.” The program opened its first fixed site at the Halifax Shopping Centre in 1991. Today, there are 11 sites and a mobile service, providing access to breast screening for women in all parts of the province. It has screened 177,617 women, performed nearly 720,000 mammograms, and detected more than 3,000 cases of breast cancer since its beginning. The program was one of the first in Canada to switch to digital screening. It was also the first to eliminate opportunistic screening (screening asymptomatic women in a diagnostic setting), leaving the diagnostic facilities free for those who need it. Dr. Judy Caines, medical director for the Nova Scotia Breast Screening Program, introduced the stereotactic needle core biopsy in 1991, a procedure to assess whether an abnormality detected on a mammogram requires surgery. Nova Scotia now has the lowest benign breast surgery numbers in the country. Dr. Caines said the Nova Scotia Breast Screening Program is seeing 67.6 per cent of Nova Scotians who should be getting routine mammograms and she would like to see that rate increase. “We are seeing many women, but there are more women out there who should be screened. Every Nova Scotian woman over the age of 40 should visit the program. With nearly 18 Nova Scotian women in 1,000 showing signs of breast cancer, it’s important to detect it early and begin treatment as soon as possible.” Nova Scotians can call 1-800-565-0548 or visit www.breastscreening.nshealth.ca to book an appointment for a screening in their area.
“People who pay smugglers to risk their lives on a dangerous sea journey are throwing their money away – there is no visa awaiting them, no speedy outcome, no special treatment,” he said.“Regular transfers to Nauru and more Sri Lankans returning home is further proof that people smugglers only sell lies and make false promises about what awaits people in Australia.“This Government is determined to break the people smuggling trade and stop people getting on those dangerous boats.” People in immigration detention can request their removal from Australia at any point in time. Those who choose to depart voluntarily can be provided with individual reintegration support to assist with their sustainable return, through the International Organization for Migration.Reintegration packages are determined on a case-by-case basis depending on need and eligibility. “These individuals have chosen not to pursue asylum claims and therefore are no longer seeking to engage Australia’s protection obligations,” Mr Bowen said. “The majority of this group were in the post-13 August cohort and faced transfer to a regional processing centre in Nauru or Papua New Guinea – they have instead chosen to return home voluntarily.”Mr Bowen said two more transfers of boat arrivals to Nauru were completed this week and more would follow in the coming days and weeks. Bowen said the Sri Lankans were removed on a charter flight from Christmas Island to Colombo today that departed at 8.15am local time (11.15am AEST). The group of Sri Lankan men included two from Nauru, 20 from Christmas Island and six from mainland facilities including Villawood and Yongah Hill. The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen MP, today announced that another group of Sri Lankan men were returning home voluntarily after choosing not to pursue their asylum claims, the Australian High Commission in Colombo said.The group of 28 men consists of people who arrived both before and after new regional processing arrangements were announced on 13 August, and came out of detention facilities on Nauru, Christmas Island and the mainland.