When is the right time to start breast screening?
Recently Sam Armytage from Channel 7’s Sunrise had a mammogram on the program. As part of the process she was recalled for further tests but was later given the all-clear – an experience that women would naturally find scary. In the days following, Sam’s experience generated much conversation around when is the right time to begin screening. Sam is 41 and the National Health and Medical Research Guidelines suggest that screening should begin at age 50. This is the age from when screening provides the most benefit.
As experienced by Sam, the chance of being recalled is higher for women in their 40s. Research shows the anxiety and emotional effects of health scares can be distressing and long lived.
At BreastScreen Victoria, our screening program is open to women from the age of 40, however we encourage women aged 50-74 to screen as we know the risk of developing breast cancer increases with age. If you’re aged between 40 and 50 we encourage you to speak to your doctor first to discuss whether screening is right for you.
Breast screens are free, take 10 minutes and are with a woman. If you’re ready to make an appointment with us, book online to breastscreen.org.au or call 13 20 50 between 8.30am and 5.00pm Monday to Friday.