Women aged 50 to 74
Breast screening is recommended for women aged 50 to 74 who have no symptoms of breast cancer. For South Australian women, screening every 2 years has been found to reduce a woman's chance of dying from breast cancer by up to 41%. BreastScreen SA actively invites women in this age group to attend for screening from the time they turn 50.
Women aged 40 to 49 and over 75
Women in these age groups are also welcome to make an appointment for a free breast screen but are encouraged to speak with their doctor when deciding if breast screening is right for them. Women with a strong family history of breast cancer may be eligible for an annual breast screen from the age of 40. If you would like to discuss this you are welcome to contact BreastScreen SA and speak with one of our friendly medical officers.
Women under 40
Screening mammography is not an effective screening test for women under the age of 40. Younger breast tissue can appear 'dense' or white on a screening mammogram, making it less effective at showing small cancers. While breast cancer can develop at any age, it is much less frequent in women under the age of 40.
All women are encouraged to be breast aware and to see their doctor if they notice a change in their breast that is not normal for them.
Breast screening is a free service and an appointment can take as little as 10 minutes.
Can I have a breast screen if...
I have breast symptoms or changes?
No. If you have symptoms or notice changes in your breasts we encourage you to see your doctor.
I am pregnant?
No. There is a mild risk the radiation may harm your baby.
I am breastfeeding?
No. If you are breastfeeding screening will not be as effective, as your breast tissue is dense with stored milk. BreastScreen SA advises you wait 6 months after stopping breastfeeding before booking your breast screen.
I have breast implants?
Yes. You will need a slightly longer appointment as implants make it harder to see breast tissue so additional images may be required.
I have a family history of breast cancer?
Yes. BreastScreen SA will collect information about your family history of breast cancer at the time of screening. Women who have a strong family history of breast cancer can have a breast screen every year from the age of 40.
I have a disability?
Yes. Women with a disability have the same level of risk of breast cancer as other women. Please let us know if you have any particular requirements when you book your breast screen .
I have had a previous diagnosis of breast cancer?
Yes. If it is more than 5 years since you completed breast cancer treatment and follow-up surveillance, you can screen with BreastScreen SA with the support of your treating doctor. Please bring all of your previous films to your screening appointment and continue to see your doctor for annual physical examinations.
I identify as trans or gender diverse (TGD)?
Yes. Whether breast screening may be of benefit to you depends on your individual circumstances. Please talk to your doctor or contact BreastScreen SA to check whether a screening mammogram is suitable for you.