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If you need further tests

Around 1 in 20 women will need further tests after their regular breast screen (mammogram).1478

If that’s you, we will ask you to come to a BreastScreen NSW assessment clinic. This will be as soon as possible after your breast screen. And, like your breast screen, this assessment is free.  

It’s normal to feel nervous if you need further tests. But it’s important to note that around 90% of women who have further tests DO NOT have breast cancer.1478

Instead, it means that the doctors who reviewed your breast x-rays identified something that needs a closer look - at this stage, more tests are needed to check whether this is normal or is due to cancer. 

Call us on 13 20 50 if you have any questions or refer to our FAQs

A letter half way out of an envelope, next to the statement “90% of women attending assessment clinics will be told they do not have breast cancer

What happens at the assessment clinic? 

At the assessment clinic our staff will explain what will happen and answer any questions. 

You need to read and sign a consent form before we do any tests.  

Then a team, including specialist doctors, will do more tests on the area that needs investigating.  

What tests will I have? 

These are some of the further tests you may have: 

  • Breast x-rays – These x-rays will focus on the area of the breast that needs checking. This could include 3D x-rays (or tomosynthesis).  
  • Breast ultrasound – This test uses sound waves to check breast tissue. 
  • Clinical breast examination – A doctor will check the breast for any noticeable changes (i.e. changes that can be seen or felt).  
  • Needle biopsy – A needle is used to take a small sample of cells and/or tissue from the part of the breast that needs to be checked.  

How long will the tests take? 

Assessments usually take 2–4 hours. But please allow for a full day in case we need to perform multiple tests.  


tick icon  You can bring a support person with you.  

tick icon  Bring your doctor’s contact details.  

tick icon  Wear a 2-piece outfit (a skirt or pants and a top).

cross icon  Do not use powder, deodorant or creams on the day of your assessment.  

When will I get my assessment results? 

In most cases, we can give you your assessment results on the day of your appointment. We will also post your results to you. If you give us your doctor’s contact details, we will also send them your results. 

Most women who need further tests receive a normal result. If that’s you, and you are aged between 50–74 years, then we will send you a reminder letter in 2 years for your next screen.  

What happens if I have breast cancer?  

A small number of women – about 6 out of 1,000 – who have a breast screen will be diagnosed with breast cancer.1478

If you’re diagnosed with breast cancer, our staff will explain the next steps, and where to get the information and support you need. We can also let your doctor know.  

If you have received a breast cancer diagnosis, you can get more information and referral advice from the Cancer Institute NSW here.