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Age groups

Screening for different age groups

Regardless of age, you will not be eligible to attend screening if you

  • have had a recent diagnosis of cancer
  • are showing any breast symptoms
  • are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Under 40

Your breast tissue is usually more dense than that of more mature breast tissue. Dense breast tissue shows as white areas on x-rays. Breast cancers also show up as white areas on x-rays. This makes breast cancer more difficult to detect in younger breast tissue.

As research has not provided evidence that breast screening reduces deaths in this age group, if you are under 40 you are not eligible to attend BreastScreen Victoria.

Between 40 and 49

Because you are younger, your breast tissue is likely to be more dense than that of more mature breast tissue. Dense breast tissue shows as white areas on x-rays. Breast cancers also show up as white areas on x-rays. This makes breast cancer more difficult to detect in breast screens in your age group.

Because breast cancer rates are lower in this age range and testing is less effective, if you are aged 40-49 you are not sent invitations to participate in screening but you are still eligible to have a free breast screen with us every two years.

74 and over

If you are over 74, you won’t receive letters from BreastScreen Victoria but you are still eligible to have a free breast screen with us every two years.