Why should I have it?

Finding breast cancer at an early stage can give women more options for less invasive treatment.

In every 1000 women who screen with a BreastScreen Australia service, only six will be found to have breast cancer. Women who have breast cancers that are found through a screening mammogram are less likely to have invasive treatment, such as a mastectomy.

For every 1000 women diagnosed with breast cancer through a BreastScreen Australia service, 173 will be treated by mastectomy (compared to 309 per 1000 women diagnosed with breast cancer outside of a BreastScreen Australia service).

Your risk of developing breast cancer increases as you get older. Around 75% of all breast cancer cases in Australia are diagnosed in women aged over 50.

Nine out of 10 women diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history of the disease.

Breast screening is saving lives.

BreastScreen SA diagnoses around 750 breast cancers each year.

Breast cancer is the second most common cause of cancer-related deaths in women in Australia and there is evidence of greater reductions in the risk of breast cancer deaths from regular breast screening. For example:

  • women who had at least three rounds of breast screening at less than 30 months apart in the period leading up to their diagnosis of breast cancer reduced their risk of breast cancer death by up to 53%
  • women aged 50 and over who had undergone breast screening were significantly less likely to die from breast cancer than women not screened
  • breast cancer-specific mortality has fallen by over 25% for all ages (females) in South Australia.


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