Fine Gael TD for Kildare South, Martin Heydon, said today (Thursday) the decision to extend BreastCheck to 65-69 year olds in 2015 demonstrates the Government’s commitment to improving the wellbeing of Irish women.

“I had received many representations on this issue from women who had availed of BreastCheck and their families who could see the huge benefit of the service and wanted it extended. Breast cancer survival in Ireland has improved significantly in recent years due to the combined approach of screening, symptomatic detection and improved treatment.

“Earlier this month, extension of the BreastCheck programme as committed to in our Programme for Government, formed a key part of my pre-budget submission to Minister Varadkar. I am sure that this decision, announced by the Minister for Health Leo Varadkar TD as part of Budget 2015, will contribute to improving the health of older women in Ireland and preventing breast cancer.

“Early detection is a key part of the battle against breast cancer. According to the Irish Cancer Society, breast cancer is the second most common cancer in the country. Breast cancer is most commonly found in those over the age of 50.

“October is breast cancer awareness month and this week’s Budget announcement will better arm us to fight this disease.”