Older women will soon have funding for breast screening

WOMEN aged up to 74 will now be given free breast cancer screenings following the announcement of new funding from the Federal Government.

It will spend $55.7 million so women aged from 70 to 74 can benefit.

Currently BreastScreen supplies free mammograms for those aged from 50 to 69.

This would effectively add five years to that range.

The deal, slated for at least four years, would be co-funded by state and territory governments.

Health Minister Tanya Plibersek said the deal would mean 220,000 extra screenings in the next four years.

"From 2016-2017, an estimated additional 600 breast cancers may be detected each year," Ms Plibersek said.

"Age is the biggest breast cancer risk factor and currently, one in 11 Australian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 75."

BreastScreen Australia has cut breast cancer deaths by more than one-quarter since its creation in 1991.