Previous breast cancer diagnosis

If you have had a previous diagnosis of breast cancer

You can have free breast screens with BreastScreen Victoria if:

  • it’s more than five years since your breast cancer diagnosis and your doctor is supportive
  • you have discussed screening with your doctor
  • you bring all your previous films
  • you see your doctor for annual physical examinations.

Regular check-ups are important

If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer in the past and have had surgery to have a lump or your breast removed, it is very important that you have regular check-ups.

This is because if you have been diagnosed with breast cancer in the past you have an increased risk of developing breast cancer again.

If you have had breast cancer, your regular check-ups should involve:

  • annual physical examination of your breasts by a doctor
  • annual mammograms
  • other tests that may be required.

We recommend you discuss if screening through BreastScreen Victoria is suitable for you before booking an appointment.

What screening does BreastScreen provide?

BreastScreen provides only standard breast screens (mammograms). Two pictures will be taken of each breast: one from the side and one from the top. If you have had a breast removed, you will have your other breast screened.

You will only be recalled for further tests (including special views and ultrasound) if your breast screen needs further investigation. We do not routinely provide other tests such as ultrasound if the breast screen is normal. You should discuss with your doctor if other tests are required.

Bring your previous films

Your breast cancer treatment may have caused changes to your breasts. So we will need to compare your screening images with previous mammograms. 

It is very important that we have all your previous mammograms for comparison. You may have them in a film bag or on a CD. If you don’t have your previous images you will need to ask your treating doctor or the imaging centre you attended to provide you with copies. This should be easy to do as images are now stored electronically. Bringing your previous films may prevent you being called back for unnecessary further tests.

We will have any previous BreastScreen films, so you do not need to provide these.

Your breast screen will be looked at by two or more health professionals specially trained in screen mammograms.

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