Age limit changes for breast screening

Are you aware that the age limit for breast screenings has been increased from 50-69 to 50-74?

Recently BreastScreen NSW has increased the age limit for free breast cancer screening for Australian Women. Contrary to popular belief that breast cancer rarely occurs among women older than 70, the risk of breast cancer for an Australian woman is 1:8, and this risk increases with age (up to the age of 70, and reduces after that).

However, about 25% new breast cancers are diagnosed in women older 70. When cancer occurs in this age group, it tends to be in the later stage and more aggressive. It is important to be breast aware and continue with breast screening, especially if you are a well individual with minimal co-morbidities.

Being breast aware is to perform a self breast examination monthly and have a clinical breast examination by your family doctor every year. You should also continue with second yearly mammograms. It is essential to be aware of any new changes in your breasts, and seek medical attention. Changes may include:

  • Lumps
  • Thickening
  • Nipple discharge
  • Nipple retraction
  • Breast pain

If you would like more information, click on the link to BreastScreen NSW.

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