Breast screening saves lives by finding breast cancers early when they’re more easily treated.
Breast cancer in Australia
The BreastScreen Australia program started in 1991. Since then, deaths from breast cancer for women aged 50 to 74 have fallen from 68 to less than 45 out of every 100,000 women each year.
Trend in breast cancer deaths for Queensland women aged 50 to 74 years, total number of women who died for every 100,000 women, 1990 to 2017
Source: Cancer Alliance Queensland
What is breast cancer?
Breast cancer is abnormal cell growth that occurs in breast tissue. There are different types of breast cancer — some that are slow growing and some that grow fast.
Treatment depends on the type of breast cancer. It’s not possible to tell which breast cancers will become life threatening if left untreated so all women diagnosed with breast cancer are offered treatment.
How common is breast cancer?
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in females in Australia. One out of every 7 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.
Most common types of cancer in Australian women, total number of women diagnosed with each cancer, 2020
Breast cancer is the 6th most common cause of death for Australian women.
Leading causes of death for Australian women, total number of women who died from each condition, 2018
* Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Last updated: October 2021