Information for Aboriginal Women

We recommend Aboriginal women screen from 40 years*. BreastScreen NSW is working with Aboriginal communities to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal women in NSW.

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BreastScreen NSW aims to provide a culturally safe place of care.

It is recommended that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women aged 40-74 have a breast screen every two years. 

Having a regular breast screen is part of healthy living. It's important to screen even when you are healthy. Screening is free and an appointment takes just 20 minutes. 

Aboriginal woman

What is a breast screen?

A breast screen is an x-ray of the breast. It can find cancers as small as a grain of rice, before you notice any changes in your breasts. 

  • It's free
  • It takes 20 minutes 
  • You don't need a doctor's referral.

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Why it's important?

The best time to treat breast cancer is when it is still very small. When breast cancer is found early, it's easier to treat and most women recover and get back to their normal lives. 

Breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting Aboriginal women. It's important to get screened, even when you are healthy.

Breast awareness

Screening with BreastScreen NSW is for women with no symptoms. If you notice any changes in your breasts, such as a lump, pain or nipple discharge, please see your doctor or health worker as soon as possible. 

Meet Dr Annalyse Crane, Gamilaroi woman


Book a breast screen

Talk to your doctor or health worker if you would like support to book the appointment. We could also arrange a group booking for you with friends and family. 

Find a clinic or see when a mobile van will visit Country.

Aboriginal resources

Aboriginal Fact Sheet Aboriginal Stay Healthy Poster Are you Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander?
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For more information about breast cancer for Aboriginal women visit the Our Mob and Cancer Website.

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*Evidence shows that Aboriginal women in NSW with breast cancer were younger and more likely to have more advanced cancer at diagnosis than non-Aboriginal women.

Sources below:

Moore SP, Soerjomataram I, Green AC, Garvey G, Martin J, Valery PC. Breast cancer diagnosis, patterns of care and burden of disease in Queensland, Australia (1998-2004): does being Indigenous make a difference? Int J Public Health. 2016;61(4):435-42.

Banham D, Roder D, Keefe D, Farshid G, Eckert M, Howard N, et al. Disparities in breast screening, stage at diagnosis, cancer treatment and the subsequent risk of cancer death: a retrospective, matched cohort of aboriginal and non-aboriginal women with breast cancer. BMC Health Serv Res. 2019;19(1):387.

Tapia KA, Garvey G, McEntee MF, Rickard M, Lydiard L, Brennan PC. Breast screening attendance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in the Northern Territory of Australia. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health. 2019;43(4):334-39.

**Aboriginal, when used, is inclusive of the terms Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander and/or Indigenous peoples

Annual NSW cancer incidence and mortality data set, 2016 (sourced from the NSW Cancer Registry, Cancer Institute NSW),

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