BreastScreen Victoria Policy Changes
BreastScreen Victoria (BSV) has changed its eligibility criteria for women who may be at an increased risk of developing breast cancer.
This includes women with atypical ductal hyperplasia (ADH), atypical lobular hyperplasia (ALH) and lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS), women with symptoms and women with a personal history of breast cancer.
Policy for women with ADH, ALH and LCIS
- Women with LCIS, ADH and ALH are now eligible for annual screening.
- Annual reminder letters will not be sent after a woman turns 74 years of age, although women can continue to screen annually on request.
- Women are strongly encouraged to see their own doctor for annual clinical evaluation.
Policy for women with breast symptoms
BSV is not an appropriate pathway for women with breast symptoms such as lumps, nipple discharge, dimpling or pain.
However due to national policy, women with symptoms are eligible to have a breast screen.
- The booking process will ask about significant symptoms*. Women will be strongly encouraged to see a GP rather than attend a BSV clinic, but an appointment will be made if women insist.
- Women will receive standard routine two-view mammography of each breast.
- Only women with mammographic abnormalities will be recalled to assessment.
- Women with symptoms will not be recalled to assessment if the breast screen is normal.
- Results letters to the woman and her GP will request that she receives follow-up including clinical breast examination and further imaging as appropriate. A woman with significant symptoms will also receive a reminder letter 4 weeks later to ensure she attends her GP for investigation of the symptom.
*Significant symptoms are defined as a breast lump or nipple discharge that has been present for less than 12 months and has not been seen by a GP.
Policy for women with a personal history of breast cancer
- Women who have had breast cancer and a mastectomy OR breast conserving surgery (BCS) are eligible to have a breast screen once it is five years since their date of diagnosis and if deemed appropriate by their doctor or treating team.
- Women previously diagnosed by BreastScreen Victoria will not be reinvited; it will be up to women to book an appointment.
- BSV will screen women who have been treated by breast conserving surgery with standard routine two-view mammography of each remaining breast.
- BSV will screen women who have been treated by mastectomy (with or without reconstruction) using routine two-view mammography of the unaffected breast. BSV will not image the mastectomy flap or any reconstruction (regardless of method).
- Only women with mammographic abnormalities will be recalled to assessment for further investigation.
- Annual reminder letters will not be sent after a woman reaches 74 years of age although women can continue to return annually on request.
- Women will be strongly encouraged to see a doctor for an annual clinical evaluation.
The policies were reviewed to ensure BreastScreen Victoria is in line with BreastScreen Australia (BSA) policy, recommendations of the BSA Evaluation and current clinical best practice.
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