Who is eligible
- BreastScreen Queensland recommends and actively encourages women aged 50 to 74 years to have a breast screen every two years as the evidence of the benefits of regular breast screens are strongest in this age group.
- Women in their 40s and 75 years and over are also eligible to have a breast screen with BreastScreen Queensland, if they choose, but are not actively encouraged to screen. This is because the evidence of benefits is less clear in these age groups. It is recommended that women in their 40s and 75 years and over talk to their doctor about whether breast screening is right for them.
- Women under 40 years are not eligible, because:
- women in this age group are at a much lower risk of developing breast cancer;
- there is no current evidence that breast screening is effective in detecting early stages of breast cancer in this age group; and
- younger women tend to have denser breast tissue which makes it more difficult to see breast cancers on breast screen images. Breast cancers and dense breast tissue both appear white on an image, making it more difficult to detect breast cancers.
- In some cases, your health condition or disability will prevent the radiographer from being able to position you correctly for your breast screen, or you may not be able to position yourself, e.g. due to limited arm movement. If you think your condition may affect your breast screen, talk to your doctor or call BreastScreen Queensland n 13 20 50.
The BreastScreen Queensland Program is not suitable for women who have signs or symptoms of breast cancer. If you are experiencing any of the signs or symptoms below, you should contact your doctor without delay. This will ensure you receive the most appropriate and timely care, including referral to a diagnostic service if necessary.
Signs and symptoms of breast cancer:
- a new lump or lumpiness in your breasts, especially if it is in only one breast
- a change in the size and shape of your breast
- a change to the nipple such as crusting, an ulcer,
redness or the nipple pulled in
- a discharge from your nipple that happens without squeezing the nipple
- a change in the skin of your breast such as redness or
dimpling or puckered skin
- a pain that does not go away.
If you notice these or any other changes in your breasts, see your doctor without delay, even if your breast screen was normal.
Last reviewed 1 September 2020 Last updated 1 September 2020