Who needs to screen?
While breast cancers can affect many different women, there are some age groups that benefit from mammograms more than others.
If you have any concerns about breast cancer, no matter what age you are, please speak with your doctor.
Who should have a mammogram?
BreastScreen NSW invites women to have their first screening mammogram at age 50 and then every two years until they are 74.
Research shows that regular screening has the greatest benefit for women in this age group.
Women 50 to 74 years old
We target women aged 50 to 74* to have a screening mammogram every two years.
The majority of breast cancers occur in women aged over 50 years. Regular mammograms are the best way to find breast cancer early, when treatment is likely to be most successful.
Currently we send reminder letters to women aged 50 to 69. Within the next 12 months, reminder letters will be gradually introduced across NSW to include women aged 70 to 74.
If you are aged between 70 and 74 years you do not need to wait until you receive a reminder letter to attend Breastscreen NSW for a free screening mammogram.
Simply call BreastScreen NSW on 13 20 50 to book your appointment.
*The target age group was extended from the 1st of July, 2013 to include women aged 70 to 74.
Women 40 to 49 years old
Women aged 40 to 49 with no symptoms can attend BreastScreen NSW.
Breast screening is less effective for women in this age group because of the difference in breast tissue. In younger women, the density (or thickness) of the breast tissue makes it more difficult to see a cancer on the x–ray. This can mean that more women are asked to come back for further tests.
There are fewer women diagnosed with breast cancer in this age group.
Women aged over 74 years
Women aged over 74 years can also attend BreastScreen NSW. If you are over 74, we recommend that you discuss breast screening with your doctor to see whether it is a priority for you.