Regular mammographic screening can significantly reduce the chance of dying from breast cancer. BreastScreen Aotearoa (BSA) began screening New Zealand women aged 50 to 64 years in 1999. In July 2004 the programme was expanded to include women aged 45-69 years of age. To ensure BSA fulfils its goal of reducing breast cancer deaths in the eligible population, the National Screening Unit commissions independent monitoring to evaluate the effectiveness of the programme against national targets. Te Rōpū Rangahau Hauora a Eru Pōmare is contracted by the Ministry of Health as the Independent Māori Monitoring group for BSA.
Māori women have a slightly increased risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer compared to non-Māori women, but a disproportionately greater risk of dying from the disease. This inequality could be reduced if more Māori women were diagnosed at an earlier stage. However, the benefit of a screening programme will only occur if BSA services to Māori women are of appropriate quality. The independent Māori monitoring reports include indicators related to coverage, quality, early detection, treatment, and timeliness. The results are reported for Māori and non-Māori women against national targets, for BSA overall, and by Lead Provider. The reports are available on the National Screening Unit website http://www.nsu.govt.nz/health-professionals/1051.asp
- Download the BreastScreen Aotearoa Independent Māori Monitoring Report 1 July 2004-June2006, Age 50-64 years
- Download the BreastScreen Aotearoa Independent Māori Monitoring Report January 2006 to December 2007 50-64 years [Due to changes in the data analysis, this report starts a new time series].
A third independent Māori monitoring report, covering the period January 2008 to December 2009 will be released late 2011.
The Independent Māori Monitoring group is also exploring special issues that arise from the Māori monitoring reports. Currently they are more closely examining issues associated with late rescreening.