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What is breast cancer screening? What services does the Cancer Institute NSW provide? Who should consider a mammogram?

Around 300,000 women are screened every year by BreastScreen NSW

Breast cancer is a collection of cells in the breast tissue that grow in an uncontrolled way. It is the most common cancer affecting women in NSW, with 1 in 7 women developing breast cancer in their lifetime.

Why is screening and early detection important?

In 2020 alone, it is expected 6,292 people will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and the disease will cause 980 deaths.

A screening mammogram (breast x-ray) is the best method to detect breast cancer early for women over the age of 50. Finding breast cancer early improves survival.

What are we trying to achieve?

BreastScreen NSW aims to help women aged 50–74 detect breast cancer early by providing free screening mammograms to women at over 200 screening sites across NSW.

We encourage women aged 50–74 to have a screening mammogram every two years. 

What have we achieved?

The BreastScreen Australia program was introduced in 1991. From 1993 onward, there has been a steady decline in mortality rates from breast cancer for women aged 50–69.

What you need to know

A screening mammogram is the best method to detect breast cancer early for women over the age of 50, however 50 per cent of women aged 50 to 74 in NSW are still not being screened.

 All women aged 50 to 74 should have a mammogram every 2 years.

1 in 7 woman will develop breast cancer

Find out why it's important for women to have a mammogram and how it can help to reduce the impact of breast cancer.

Making the decision to screen outside mobile site

Who should be screened for breast cancer? Find out the age ranges where mammograms are most important.

higher risk areas

There are 10 areas across NSW where women experience higher rates of breast cancer risk factors.

breast screen mobile units travel over 50,000 kilometres every 2 years

BreastScreen NSW is a free, government funded service that aims to detect breast cancer early before it has a chance to spread.

Woman booking screening appointment

We produce breast screening campaigns to encourage more women in NSW to get mammograms - browse the media and find out about the campaigns.

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