Main menu

Therapeutic suites to change breast screening on the Coast

BreastScreen Sunshine Coast and Wishlist are on a mission to increase the number of local ladies getting regular checks, by creating a much more pleasant environment at the Nambour BreastScreen clinic.

Grant Cunning from Spire Law, Shane Judd from BreastScreen QLD, Ros Bull from the Buderim Foundation, Kelly Hart from BreastScreen Qld, Emma Larson from BreastScreen Qld, Alison Roper from BreastScreen Qld and Lisa Rowe – Wishlist.

In a Queensland first, Sunshine Coast women will soon have access to state-of-the-art Lighting and Sensory Distraction Suites for their regular and follow-up breast screens. The innovative approach is set to significantly improve what has historically been an uncomfortable experience.

It is hoped that the therapeutic suites will lift the Sunshine Coast’s breast screening rates in women aged 50-75 from 56% to meet the national accreditation standard of 70%.

Improving participation in regular breast screens will also help to reduce rates of illness and death as a result of Breast Cancer.

Research by the University of Wollongong for Queensland Health in 2015, found pain, discomfort, self-consciousness and embarrassment are major barriers to women getting regular breast cancer screenings.

BreastScreen Sunshine Coast’s Kelly Hart said it can be an unpleasant experience.

“Women who attend the Nambour Assessment clinic know that there is a chance that either themselves or one of the other women at the clinic will be told they have breast cancer.

“As a result, many women who attend the clinics experience high levels of stress,” she said.

Kelly said the Lighting and Sensory Distraction Suites will be a huge benefit to women on the Sunshine Coast and will greatly reduce anxiety and perceived pain for those undergoing screening mammography and mammography guided biopsies.

“Sensory distraction is a commonly used and endorsed strategy for controlling or reducing the perception of pain, which in turn can reduce the amount of stress experienced by women. 

“It is expected that the sensory suite virtual window and skylight installations will assist in distracting women from the procedures they undergo as part of the assessment clinic and thereby improve their experience,” said Kelly.

The screening and assessment suits will include indigenous artwork, aromatherapy, mood lighting, a wall wrap and a virtual window and skylight which will contain images of some of the relaxing and beautiful environments on the Coast.

Women attending the clinic will be able to choose which music and landscape they’d like during their assessment.

Buderim Foundation has partnered with Wishlist to help make this important project become a reality, by donating $4,000. The remainder of the $21,000 needed for the suites will be funded by Wishlist with proceeds for the foundation’s annual Melbourne Cup Event at the Sunshine Coast Turf Club, thanks to Spire Law.