BCAC welcomed the opportunity to have input into the Ministry of Health’s new Women’s Health Strategy for Aotearoa New Zealand (read our submission here). BCAC stressed the importance of including breast cancer in this strategy and identified three key issues:

  1. Modernising the current breast cancer screening programme, so that cancers are detected earlier and treatments are less invasive, cheaper and more effective.
  2. Ensuring greater access to new medicines so that oncologists have a ‘full toolkit’ and can give patients optimal treatments, targeted to their particular breast cancer subtype and stage.
  3. Increasing precision by using modern gene-based techniques to improve breast cancer detection and diagnosis, appropriately target treatments, optimise health outcomes, reduce inequity and ensure efficient use of resources.

‘This strategy should provide the means to improve women’s health today and tomorrow’, says BCAC Chair Libby Burgess. ‘We don’t want to see this strategy become yet another high-level dust-gathering policy document. It should challenge the Minister of Health to focus resources on key areas that will make a positive difference for all women and girls.’