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Before screening

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Before screening

About BreastScreen Victoria

BreastScreen Victoria invites women aged 50-74 to have a breast screen every two years.  BreastScreen Victoria is part of BreastScreen Australia, the national screening program for breast cancer.

What is a breast screen?

A breast screen is a picture of the breast (also called a mammogram). Breast screens can find cancers that are too small to see or feel. The earlier breast cancer is found, the better the chance of a positive outcome.

Radiologist reading a breast screen.

What if I have breast symptoms or changes?

If you have noticed an unusual change in your breasts such as a lump, pain or discharge from the nipple, it is important that you visit your doctor as soon as possible, before your appointment at BreastScreen Victoria.

 

Are breast screens safe?

Each time you have a breast screen, your breasts are exposed to a very small amount of radiation. Research shows that the benefits of breast screens in finding cancer early outweigh any radiation risks.

Obtaining your breast images

Viewing your previous breast images or mammogram improves the accuracy of your screening result. When you booked your appointment, we asked if your last mammogram was outside the BreastScreen Victoria program. We also offered to obtain these electronically with your consent. Alternatively, we asked that you bring your breast images to your appointment.

Family history

BreastScreen Victoria collects information about the client’s family history of breast cancer and family and personal history of ovarian cancer to provide them with better care. BreastScreen uses this information to estimate the personal risk of developing breast cancer. Before completing your registration form, please talk to your family about your family history.

What if I have breast implants?

Yes. Most people who have breast implants can have regular breast screens every two years. Before making an appointment, you may wish to discuss with your doctor whether breast screening is suitable for you. Implants make it harder to see breast tissue on standard mammograms. Additional images will be needed to show as much breast tissue as possible. You will need a slightly longer appointment. For more information, see our fact sheet Breast screening with implants.

What should I wear to my appointment?

Wear a skirt or slacks and a top so that you can remove your top for the breast screen.

Book your appointment

Book your appointment online on MyBreastScreen or by calling 13 20 50.  

You will be asked some questions when you book. Answering these questions ensures we book the right type of appointment and save you time on the day. There are some questions about your family history of breast and ovarian cancer, so talk to your family before you book.

If you use a wheelchair or have other special needs, call 13 20 50, and we will help you find the best clinic for your needs.

We can provide Auslan interpreter services at the appointment. Please let us know if you need an interpreter when you make your appointment.

If you are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment, contact us through the National Relay Service. This is an Australia-wide telephone access service for people who have hearing or speech impairments.

  • TTY users phone 13 36 77 then ask for 13 20 50.
  • Speak and Listen users phone 1300 555 727 then ask for 13 20 50.
  • Internet relay users connect to the National Relay Service then ask for 13 20 50.

View and download the BreastScreen Victoria information sheet.

The importance of breast screening

Dr Alia Kaderbhai is a GP, RACGP Breast Medicine Network Chair, and BreastScreen Victoria Advisor. She talks about the importance of regular breast screening.

Book your appointment online at My BreastScreen or call 13 20 50