Breast screening is the best method for detecting breast cancer early. This offers the best chance of successful treatment and recovery. A screening mammogram is a low dose x-ray of your breasts. Two-yearly mammography screening is most effective for women aged 50 to 69 years. Most women who have abnormal mammogram results don't have cancer.
Breast screening is the best method for detecting breast cancer in its earliest stages. Early detection offers the best chance of successful treatment and recovery. Screening mammograms use low dose x-rays of the breasts to detect cancers that are too small to be felt by you or your doctor.
Two-yearly mammography screening is most effective for women aged 50 to 69 years. Most women who have abnormal mammogram results don’t have cancer.
Free breast screening
BreastScreen Australia is a government-funded, national breast cancer screening program that provides high-quality mammography screening, particularly for women aged between 50 and 69 years. Women in this age group who attend BreastScreen are routinely re-invited for screening every two years. Screening mammography finds most cancers present at the time of the mammogram although, like other medical tests, it is not 100 per cent accurate.
If you have had breast cancer in the past, talk over screening options with your specialist, as the screening program may not be suitable for you.
A screening mammogram is a low dose x-ray of your breasts, used to detect unsuspected cancer at an early stage before symptoms appear. The mammogram is carried out by a radiographer. The mammogram provides a picture of the inside of your breast. The picture is then examined by a radiologist, who is trained to detect any abnormalities. Research has shown that regular mammography screening in women aged between 50 and 69 years can reduce deaths from breast cancer by up to one-third.
The BreastScreen program invites women aged between 50 and 69 years to have a free screening mammogram every two years. Women aged between 40 and 49 years or 70 and over may also be screened if they wish, but are not actively invited to the program and do not receive two-yearly reminder letters. Evidence indicates that breast screening is most effective in women aged 50 to 69 years.
Screening a whole population of women in a particular age group who do not have symptoms is different from the use of mammography to investigate symptoms in an individual woman. This is a diagnostic procedure. If you experience any symptoms or unusual changes in your breasts, see your doctor for diagnosis as soon as possible.
What to expect from a mammogram
While the mammogram is being taken, each breast will be compressed between two flat plates on the X-ray machine. Compressing the breast only lasts for a few seconds. Some women may experience discomfort, however, if you experience pain during the mammogram, you should let the radiographer know. You can also ask for the procedure to stop at any time. It is recommended that you advise your radiographer if you have sensitive breasts. She will work with you to make sure that the mammogram is as comfortable as possible.
Things to remember
- BreastScreen Australia offers free mammograms to women aged between 50 and 69 years.
- Women aged between 40 and 49 years or 70 and over may also be screened if they wish.
- Early detection and treatment can reduce illness and death from breast cancer.
- If you experience any breast symptoms or unusual changes, see your doctor without delay.
If you have any concerns please come and see one of our Brisbane Doctors or our Registered Nurse for the best advice.
For an appointment please call 07 3351 8593 or book an appointment online.