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Why breast screen?

Did you know breast cancer is the most common cancer for women in Australia?1517 

BreastScreen NSW recommends that women aged 50–74 have a breast screen every two years. Screening is free and an appointment takes just 20 minutes. 


What is a breast screen? 

A breast screen, also known as a mammogram, is an x-ray of the breasts. It can find cancers as small as a grain of rice, before you notice a change or feel a lump. 

Price tag with a “$” symbol on it
Is free
Takes 20 minutes
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Doctor’s referral not required

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

Women can be affected by breast cancer regardless of their cultural background or the language they speak. You may look and feel well, but you can have breast cancer without any obvious symptoms.   

Why is breast screening important? 

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1 in 7 women in NSW will be diagnosed with breast cancer. 1548
Infographic showing a woman sitting down with a cup of tea next to the figure “50+”
More than 75 % (per cent) of women diagnosed with breast cancer are aged over 50. 1518
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9 out of 10 women with breast cancer do not have a family history of breast cancer. 1477

When to screen 

  • Every two years between the age of 50–74. 
  • You do not need a doctor’s referral.  
  • Women aged 40–49 and over 75 are also eligible to have a breast screen. Please talk to your doctor first. 

How to book a breast screen 

Ring the Translating and Interpreting Service Two people talking through an interpreter on 13 14 50 if you would like help to make a booking.

An interpreter can also come to your appointment, but they must be certified to interpret health information.  

If you would like to come with other women and support each other at your breast screen, we can organise a group booking.  

BreastScreen NSW has over 250 locations in NSW. Find your nearest location  

Your appointment 

  • Wear a two-piece outfit as you will need to remove your clothes from the waist up  
  • Do not use powder, deodorant or creams on your body the day of your appointment, as they can affect your x-ray. 
  • A female radiographer will take you to a private room to undress. You will then have two x-rays of each breast.   
  • The x-rays are quick. However, some women might find it uncomfortable when the breasts are pressed. You can ask questions and stop the breast screen at any time.  

Please tell our staff if you:  

  • are pregnant 
  • have breast implants 
  • have a pacemaker 
  • have mobility, back or shoulder conditions.