Strategies for GPs
Building collaborative partnerships with GPs is very important for BreastScreen SA.
- a range of free printed resources, including brochures in 25 languages, posters, pens and promotional boxes
- seminars for health professionals and practice managers – at BreastScreen SA or your venue
- personalised contact with GPs via surgery visits
- display materials
- articles for professional magazines/newsletters.
Contact our medical officers for more information.
Common questions from clients
We understand that some clients may have a number of questions or concerns relating to having a mammogram (breast screen) and GPs may be faced with these when clients present to their doctor’s appointment.
The following information may assist in helping GPs to ensure their clients are fully informed with the service provided by BreastScreen SA.
I'm worried about the exposure to radiation. Are breast screens safe?
Each time you have a breast screen, your breasts are exposed to a very small amount of radiation, similar to that from many X-rays people commonly have. Research shows that the benefits of breast screens in finding cancer early outweigh any radiation risks. The radiation dose is minimised by the firm compression of the breast.
I have breast implants. Can I come to BreastScreen SA?
Yes. BreastScreen SA provides free screening mammograms every two years primarily to women aged 50 to 74 without breast symptoms, regardless of whether or not they have breast implants. Implants can hide some of the breast tissue, making cancers more difficult to identify. Special techniques are required to take high quality images when breast implants are present. BreastScreen SA radiographers are specially trained in these techniques. You may also need extra images taken to ensure as much breast tissue as possible can be seen. Please advise our call centre staff when you book your breast screen so we can allow additional time for your appointment.
What will happen at my appointment?
You will be welcomed by a friendly BreastScreen SA staff member who will explain what happens at the clinic. A specially trained radiographer will take you into the screening room. Women are welcome to wear one of our gowns, if they wish. When you are ready, the radiographer will take two different X-rays of each breast. Women with larger breasts may need additional X-rays to ensure all of the breast can be seen.
Can I have a gown when I have my breast screen?
Yes. Please let us know if you would like one when you present for your appointment.
What if I'm uncomfortable?
Please tell your radiographer if you feel any pain. She will work with you to make sure that the breast screen is as comfortable as possible. You can ask the radiographer to stop the breast screen at any time.
When will I get my results?
Your breast screen is read independently by two specialist doctors (radiologists). Results are usually posted within 14 days and also sent to your nominated doctor. Please contact us if you don’t receive your results within 21 days. As this test only looks for breast cancer, we do not report on any benign (non-cancerous) breast changes. Most women are reassured that their mammogram shows no evidence of breast cancer.
What if I am asked to come back for more tests? Does this mean I have breast cancer?
Sometimes women will be asked to come back for more tests if a breast screen shows an area of possible concern. Further testing might include more detailed X-rays and ultrasounds. Only a small percentage of women, about 5%, are called back for further tests and will be invited back to our dedicated Assessment Clinic. For every five women who come to the Assessment Clinic for further tests, less than one will receive a diagnosis of breast cancer.