The simple facts about having a breastscreen

Fact: The risk of breast cancer increases dramatically after the age of 50. In fact, 75% of women diagnosed are in this age group.

Fact: 9 out of 10 women diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history of the disease.

Fact: A breastscreen every 2 years is the best way to detect breast cancer early well before you or your doctor can feel anything.

What is a breastscreen?

A breastscreen, or screening mammogram, is an x-ray that can pick up small changes in the breast tissue, before they can be felt or noticed. For women over 50, a breastscreen is the most effective way to detect breast cancer in its early stages.

Who should have one?

75% of women diagnosed with breast cancer are over 50. That's why it is strongly recommended that all women aged between 50 and 69 have a breastscreen every 2 years. Women in their 40s and 70 years and over are also eligible for free breastscreens in the BreastScreen Queensland Program.

Is it safe?

A breastscreen only uses a very low dose of radiation and is considered a safe procedure.

How long does it take?

A breastscreen only takes a few minutes. Your appointment includes a discussion with your radiographer and a short wait afterwards while the images are processed. So you can expect the entire appointment to take around 30 minutes.

What happens during the procedure?

A female radiographer will explain the procedure to you and answer any questions you may have. A breastscreen is taken by compressing each breast between two plates for about 10-15 seconds while the x-ray is being taken. Two views of each breast are taken - one from above and one from the side.

Does it hurt?

Most women feel a little discomfort from the pressure when the breasts are compressed. A small minority of women with very sensitive breasts may experience some pain. However, this is only for a few seconds and you are able to control the level of discomfort. Simply tell the radiographer and the pressure will be immediately released.

When do I get the results?

At BreastScreen Queensland, we make sure every breastscreen is carefully examined by two specially trained doctors for signs of possible breast cancer. For this important reason and to ensure a high quality service, your results will not be provided to you on the day of your appointment. You can expect to receive the results of your breastscreen in the mail approximately 2 weeks after your appointment. If you wish, your results can also be sent to your doctor. Most women are told that their breastscreen showed no signs of breast cancer, and we will send you a reminder letter when your next breastscreen is due.

What if I notice any changes in my breasts?

It is important to be aware of the normal look and feel of your breasts. If you find a breast lump, a nipple discharge or any breast changes that concern you, please contact your doctor immediately.

What you can expect at BreastScreen Queensland

BreastScreen Queensland Services are the only nationally accredited breast cancer screening services in Queensland.

  • One-on-one: Your appointment is one-on-one with a female health professional.
  • Quality: Your breastscreen is read independently by two specially trained doctors.
  • Free: Breast cancer screening and follow up tests, if required, are free.
  • Quick: You'll be in and out in around 30 minutes.
  • Convenient: Our Services are provided at over 200 locations throughout Queensland
  • Accessible: No referral is needed - just call 13 20 50
  • Helpful: We'll send you a reminder when your next breastscreen is due.

More information

Phone 13 20 50
Early detection could save your life BreastScreen Queensland