Video Transcript: Women's health

Read the transcript for our 'Women's health' video.

COVID-19 had a significant impact on lives in Aotearoa New Zealand, and presented unique challenges for ethnic communities.

The Ministry for Ethnic Communities partnered with Manatū Hauora - Minsitry of Health to both educate and vaccinate throughout the pandemic. To further support our communities, we are releasing a series of videos to increase awareness of the available health services you can access.

In this video, we will share health information for Women about breast cancer and cervical cancer screening.

During the pandemic, we focused on protecting ourselves against COVID-19, with other health areas becoming a lesser priority. Now is a good time to refocus on general health check-ups - for women this means booking breast and cervical screenings.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer for women and the third most common cancer overall, mostly affecting women over the age of 50, but young women and men can get it too. And it doesn’t just affect those people with a family history of breast cancer; anyone can get it.

Breast cancer is most treatable when found early. So it's important that you know what to look out for. From age 40, it’s recommended women start regular breast screening, called a mammogram, which is a safe low-dose x-ray that can pick up very small breast cancers well before a lump can be felt.

You can book your mammogram with BreastScreen Aotearoa on their website or freephone them on 0800 270 200.

Aotearoa New Zealand has one of the best cervical screening programmes in the world. Regular screening can find changes and allow early treatment, usually before cancer even develops.

All women between 25 and 69 who have ever been sexually active, should have regular screening. Often there are no signs of early-stage cervical cancer, which is why doctors encourage regular cervical screening tests. If you have not had a cervical screen within the last three years, it’s recommended you make an appointment for one now.

Screening is important even if you’re no longer sexually active or have only ever had sex with other women . If you have had a hysterectomy check with your health provider, you will still need to be screened. We know having this test can be stressful, so your health provider will work with you to ensure it’s as quick and easy as possible.

To get a screening test, you can talk your doctor or freephone The National Screening Unit on 0800 729 729.

Your health is at the centre of your family’s health, so make breast cancer and cervical screening a priority today.

For information about pregnancy and newborn screening, please visit the National Screening Unit

For information on choosing a midwife, visit the Ministry ofr Health website ( and search 'Choosing a midwife'.

For any other health needs call Healthline on 0800 611 116. Interpreting services will be available if you need them.

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