Tasmania is one of the only states in Australia without publicly funded diagnostic mammography, a new report has found.
According to Breast Cancer Network Australia’s State of the Nation report, Tasmanian women who show breast symptoms still have to pay to have a mammogram.
Only women who do not have symptoms and fall withing the age range for a BreastScreen, can have their mammograms for free.
The report also identified that psychological care, including support during and after diagnosis, was difficult because of a lack of publicly funded services and that accessing follow-up care often meant travelling long distances.
The national report, which was presented at Parliament House on Tuesday, was conducted over 18 months and detailed 15,000 experiences of people living with breast cancer.
Network chief executive Kirsten Pilatti said the disparity of care can no longer be ignored.
“The people in this report are not just statistics. I travelled around the country and listened to thousands of women and men talk about the challenges they face accessing quality and affordable care,” she said.
Breast cancer remains the most common cancer in Australian women and despite success in public awareness, earlier diagnosis and improvements in survival rates, about 3000 Australians will die from the disease in 2018.
The network is calling on federal and state governments to address gaps in finance, emotional and psychological support and service.
“We will not stop until everyone woman or man diagnosed with breast cancer receives the very best treatment, care and support possible,” Ms Pilatti said.