About the BreastScreen Australia Program

Find out more about the national breast cancer screening service. Learn who it targets, why it’s important and whether it’s right for you.

Did you know BreastScreen Australia is turning 30? Find out more about this milestone.

Breast cancer screening can save lives

BreastScreen Australia is the national breast cancer screening program. Every state and territory operates a BreastScreen Australia service, and invites women aged between 50 and 74 years to have a mammogram every 2 years.

Screening mammograms are used to find breast cancers early, before they can be seen or felt. The earlier breast cancer is found, the better the chances of surviving it.

Why breast screening is important

Your chances of getting breast cancer increase with age. 1 in 7 Australian women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.

We aim to reduce illness and death from the disease. That’s why we try to screen as many eligible women as we can.

Between 1985–1989 and 2011–2015, 5-year relative survival rates from breast cancer improved from 75% to 94%.

What is breast cancer?

Breast cancer is a disease that occurs when abnormal cells in the breast grow out of control. The cancer spreads into the breast tissues.

Find out more about breast cancer.

Who is eligible for a free breast screen

Women aged between 50 and 74 years are invited to have a free breast screen (also called a mammogram) every 2 years. You can still have a free mammogram if you’re aged between 40 and 49 years, or 75 years and over – you just won’t receive an invitation in the mail.

Find out more about whether you’re eligible.

How the program works

The program is jointly funded by the Australian Government and state and territory governments and is delivered at a state and territory level by accredited providers.

Eligible women receive an invitation to have a breast screen every 2 years. Once the test is over, results are sent in the mail about 2 weeks later.

Learn more about the screening process.

Where you can have a breast screen

There are over 750 locations across Australia where you can get a breast screen. To make an appointment for a free mammogram, contact BreastScreen Australia in your state or territory.

Find out where you can get a breast screen (mammogram).

Program policies and evaluation

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) monitors the program’s activity and produces annual reports.

Policies guide breast cancer screening in Australia.

The BreastScreen Australia Program was evaluated in 2009. Read the complete report and formal response from the Australian Ministers Health Advisory Council (AHMAC) on the National Library’s web archive.

Contact

BreastScreen Australia Program contact

Contact your state or territory BreastScreen Australia service to book an appointment, update your contact details or to find out more information about screening for breast cancer. The phone service will connect you to your nearest service for the cost of a local call.

View contact

Other screening programs

We also have screening programs for bowel cancer and cervical cancer.

Talk to your doctor if you have any questions about screening for cancer.

Last updated: 
21 October 2021

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