When to recommend breast screening

When should you recommend BreastScreen Queensland to a patient?

Eligibility for screening

BreastScreen Queensland offers free 2 yearly screening mammograms to women who are both:

  • aged 40 and over, and
  • asymptomatic.

BreastScreen Queensland doesn’t offer diagnostic mammograms for women with breast symptoms.

Different risks and benefits for different age groups

Breast screening is proven to be effective in reducing morbidity and mortality for breast cancer in women aged 50 to 74.

The efficacy of breast screening in other age groups isn’t proven and there are different risks and benefits for women aged 40 to 49 and 75 and over.

For these reasons, BreastScreen Queensland routinely invites and reminds women aged 50 to 74 to have a breast screen.

Women aged 40 to 49 and 75 and over can still make an appointment. However, we recommend that women in these age groups talk to their doctor to determine whether breast screening is appropriate for them.

Read more about the different risks and benefits of breast screening at different ages.

Breast Cancer Family Clinic

Women aged 30 to 59 with a very strong family history of breast cancer may be referred to the BreastScreen Queensland Breast Cancer Family Clinic for advice, counselling and a personal management plan.

A very strong family history of breast cancer is one that meets the National Breast and Ovarian Cancer Centre Risk Category 3 criteria.

We advise women who believe they might have a very strong family history of breast cancer to talk to their doctor before they make a breast screening appointment.

Read more about how to assess breast cancer risk.

Assessment Clinics

BreastScreen Queensland offers free Assessment Clinics for further investigation of abnormalities detected during breast screening.

Procedures offered at our Assessment Clinics include ultrasounds and needle biopsies. Women requiring open biopsies are referred outside the program.

Health professionals can’t refer women directly to a BreastScreen Queensland Assessment Clinic. Symptomatic women should be referred for diagnostic mammography outside the BreastScreen Queensland program.

Last updated: October 2021