Women aged 50 to 74 are recommended to undergo a mammogram every two years.
But studies have shown only half of women in the target age group have regular check ups.
“They don’t know where to go,” Willmot’s Debbie Sneyd said.
Ms Sneyd, 56, was diagnosed with breast cancer almost three years ago.
She said she was lucky that her cancer was found early during her yearly check up.
Her sister wasn’t so fortunate, and passed away from the disease at 57.
“I lost half of my left breast. But I’m here to tell the story,” Ms Sneyd said.
From next week, locals will be able to take up the offer of free breast checks when BreastScreen NSW’s van comes to St Marys.
Westmead’s Breast Cancer Institute is bringing its mobile hub to St Marys Rugby League Club for four weeks, starting from October 10.
St Marys Rugby League Club marketing coordinator Yvette Haines said local women needed access to high-quality care.
“It’s important for us to raise awareness about breast cancer during October Breast Cancer Awareness Month,” she said.
“With this in mind, we wanted to support BreastScreen’s initiative to emphasise the importance of having regular mammograms for the early detection of breast cancer by offering this service to our local women.”
One on eight women in NSW will develop breast cancer in their lifetime, and nine out of 10 of them will have no family history of the disease.
Westmead BCI director, associate professor Nirmala Pathmanathan said mammograms took 15 minutes and encouraged women to make time for their health.
“Finding breast cancer in its early stages can save lives, so we need to raise awareness about the importance of screening,” she said.
“We need to significantly increase the number of women screening and in turn reduce the number of women dying from this disease.”
Ms Sneyd said mammograms could be uncomfortable, but her experience showed a few minutes of awkwardness was well worth it.
“Take someone that you can sit down and talk to,” she said.
“You quickly forget why you’re there.”
To book a free mammogram, call BreastScreen on 13 20 50.
The BreastScreen van will be at St Marys Rugby League Club on the corner of Forrester and Boronia roads from Tuesday, October 10, to Saturday, November 11.