Breastscreen Facts


The simple facts about having a breastscreen:
The risk of breast cancer increases dramatically after the age of fifty. In fact, 75% of women diagnosed are in this age group.
Nine out of ten women diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history of the disease.
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 a breastscreen? 76% of women diagnosed with breast cancer are over 50. That's why it is strongly recommended that all women aged between 50 & 69 have a breastscreen every 2 years. Women in their 40's & 70 years & 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 & 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 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 & answer any questions you may have. A breastscreen is taken by compressig each breast between 2 plates for about 10-15 secounds while the x-ray is being taken. At least 2 views of each breast are taken - 1 from above & 1 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 & you are able to control the level of discomfort. Simply tell the radiographer & the pressure will be immediately released.
When do I get the results? At BreastScreen Queensland, we make sure every breastscreen is carefully examined by 2 specially trained doctors for signs of possible breast cancer. For this important reason & 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 10 days 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, & BreastScreen Queensland 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 & feel of your breasts. If you find a lump, any breast changes or a nipple discharge that concern you, please contact your doctor immediately.
BreastScreen Queensland Services are the only nationally accredited breast cancer screening services in Queensland. Your appointment is 1-on-1 with a female health professional, your breastscreen is read independently by 2 specially trained doctors, you'll be in & out in around 30 minutes, services are provided at over 200 locations across Queensland. Breast cancer screening & follow up tests, if required, are free & BreastScreen Queensland will send you a reminder when your next breastscreen is due. No doctor's referral is needed - just call 13 20 50.
BreastScreen Queensland: quality & care women want. For more everyday women's stories, visit