Almost half of all eligible Queensland women are skipping breast screens, according to the latest data from Queensland Health.

Here’s what 24-hour doctors say you need to know.

The findings

Only 56 per cent of eligible women in Queensland have taken advantage of the free breast screen service provided across the State.

Executive Director of Preventive Health, Kaye Pulsford said of the 646,835 women aged 50 to 74 years in Queensland, only 365,276 had participated in the free BreastScreen Queensland program in 2015-16.

“I congratulate those women who are having regular breast screens,” Ms Pulsford said.

“However, it is very concerning that almost half of eligible women in Queensland have not had a breast screen.”

According to Queensland Health, the latest data revealed around 280,000 women skipped free, life-saving breast screens.  

Reasons such as fear of pain and uncomfortableness, along with being complacent are examples of why some women have chosen not to have the less than 10 second breast screen.  

What does this mean?

Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women and the second-highest cause of cancer-related deaths in Queensland women according to after-hours doctors.

Regular breast screens are crucial in detecting early signs of the cancer, as they can significantly reduce the likelihood of dying from the disease.  

“I’m urging Queensland women over 50 who have not had a screen in the past two years, to pick up the phone or jump online and make a potentially life-saving appointment,” Ms Pulsford said.

Australian medical centres recommend that women aged 50 to 74 receive a breast screen every two years.

For further information about the free BreastScreen Queensland program, visit your regular 24-hour doctor or GP.