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Who can get a breast screen

All asymptomatic women (cis and trans) aged 40 and over are eligible for a free breast screen. 

BreastScreen NSW recommends cis women aged 50–74 have a breast screen every two years.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women are recommended to screen every two years from age 40. Visit information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women for more details. The Helping Mob Live Healthy and Prevent Cancer Toolkit contains tailored information and resources on cancer screening and prevention for the Aboriginal health workforce 

BreastScreen NSW recommends trans women and gender diverse people who have been using feminising gender-affirming hormones for five or more years, have a breast screen every two years from aged 50–74, or from the age of 40 for those who are Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander. For more information about trans and gender diverse people and breast screening, visit information for trans and gender diverse people.

Clients don’t need a referral to have a mammogram, but a recommendation from their doctor to have a breast screen is motivating and can make all the difference.

BreastScreen NSW provides free screening mammograms targeted at women aged 50–74 who DO NOT have any breast symptoms.

If a patient has breast symptoms, refer them to a specialist clinic or a breast surgeon straight away for diagnostic tests. 

Age affects eligibility 

Under 40

No. BreastScreen NSW does not screen women under 40. 

Women under 40 are at a much lower risk of developing breast cancer.2527  

Breast cancers are difficult to detect in young breast tissue due to higher breast density, which can make it harder to see small cancers on an x-ray. 

Find more information here. 

In your 40s

Women should talk to their doctor to find out if breast screening is right for them. 

 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women are recommended to screen from age 40.  

Evidence shows breast cancer rates are lower and screening can be less effective for women aged 40–50.2531  


Yes. BreastScreen NSW invites women in this age group to screen every 2 years.  

More than 75% of breast cancers occur in women over 50.1471 

Regular breast screens are the best way to find breast cancers early. 


Women should talk to their doctor to find out if breast screening is right for them. 

Women aged 75 years and older are eligible to receive a free mammogram every 2 years, but BreastScreen NSW does not issue invitations to women in this age group. 

A woman’s general health should be taken into account when deciding if screening is a priority. 

Screening intervals 

Aboriginal women aged 40–74 and non-Aboriginal women aged 50–74 are recommended to have a breast screen every 2 years.  

It is recommended that some women screen every year. At a woman’s first appointment, our staff provide information about the recommended breast screening interval. 

As a health professional, you may be asked about screening intervals. The table below lists some risk factors which we consider when recommending an annual breast screen.

Risk factor

Eligibility for annual screen 

A woman with a previous history of breast cancer can be screened every year on advice from their specialist. 

We recommend women with a previous history of breast cancer wait at least five years after diagnosis before returning to BreastScreen NSW. .

Eligibility for annual screen

A woman can have a breast screen every year. 

Eligibility for annual screen 

BreastScreen NSW routinely offers annual screening mammograms 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 requests an additional review. 

It is recommended that the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre iPrevent™ breast cancer risk assessment tool be used to understand the woman's risk before a review of screening interval is requested. 

The iPrevent™ tool assesses breast cancer risk and takes into account age, reproductive factors, lifestyle factors and family history of breast cancer. 

The tool categorises women into three levels of risk – average, moderate or high. 

The printable report also provides risk reducing options and a recommended breast screening interval. 

Eligibility for annual screen 

If recommended by a designated radiologist and/or multidisciplinary team within BreastScreen NSW, a woman can have a breast screen every year 

You can find more information in Frequently Asked Questions.