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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 8 women developing breast cancer in their lifetime.

Why is screening and early detection important?

In 2019 alone, it is expected 6,121 people will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and the disease will cause 974 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.