Screening interval guidelines

BreastScreen NSW routinely offers screening mammograms to most women every two years. For some women, however, annual screening is available.

The recommended breast screening interval is determined and/or reviewed when a woman presents for her routine screening appointment. From 3 November 2014, eligibility for annual screening will be determined against the following criteria:

1.      Previous diagnosis of breast cancer

  • This includes invasive and in-situ cancer sub-types.
  • BreastScreen NSW recommends that women with a previous history of breast cancer should be at least five years post-diagnosis before re-attending a BreastScreen service. However, the Program’s policy allows for annual rescreens for all women diagnosed with breast cancer on the advice of her specialist. 

2.    Previous benign biopsy in which any of the following features were identified:

  • Atypical ductal or lobular hyperplasia
  • Lobular carcinoma in-situ

3.     Family history

  • BreastScreen NSW routinely offers annual screening to women who have a first-degree relative (mother, sister, daughter, father, brother, son) who was diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 50.
  • A woman can have her screening interval reviewed further if she has concerns about her family history and either herself or her doctor request an additional review.

If a review is requested, the woman’s screening interval will be determined by the applicable category recommendations outlined in the Cancer Australia Familial Risk Assessment – Breast and Ovarian Cancer (FRA-BOC) online tool. The FRA-BOC online tool categorises women into three levels of risk for breast cancer according to family history.

  • If a woman is confirmed to be in risk category 1 or 2, she will be offered biennial screening.
  • If a woman is confirmed to be in risk category 3, she will be advised to see her family doctor for discussion and possible referral to the most appropriate clinical service. If the client wishes to remain with BreastScreen NSW, she will be offered annual screening upon informing the Program of her decision.

 Access the online tool on Cancer Australia's website. 

4.         Specialist recommendation

If a designated radiologist and/or multidisciplinary team decide that a patient requires annual screening, this will be offered by the BreastScreen NSW Program.

Contact us

While these criteria will not cover all women for whom annual mammography may be appropriate, BreastScreen NSW is always happy to discuss a patient’s individual circumstances with you. Please call the BreastScreen program on 13 20 50.

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