In a life threatening emergency dial Triple Zero (000)


About this service

BreastScreen ACT recommends that eligible Canberrans from the age of 50 - 74 years participate in mammogram screening every two years. Approximately 80 percent of breast cancers occur over the age of 50.

Free screening is also available for participants from 40 -49 years and over 74 years. Speak to your GP about when breast screening is right for you.

It only takes about 20 minutes and no referral is needed!

We also investigate any areas of interest that are detected on your mammogram. This means you may be asked to come back for further assessment once your mammogram has been reviewed by two radiologists.

Screening mammograms are for people without any signs and symptoms of breast cancer. We are looking to find breast cancers early, well before they can be seen or felt.

Eligible Canberrans aged 50 - 74 years should have a screening mammogram every two years. It is recommended that cis women, aged 50 – 74 years, have a screen every 2 years and that trans women who have been on hormones (estrogen) for more than 5 years, aged 50-74 years, have a screen every two years.

For peace of mind, give us a call on 13 20 50 to make an appointment.

Breast screening is not effective in women under 40 years.

Who we care for

Our service invites people aged 50 to 74 years to have a free screening mammogram.

People aged 40 to 49 and 75+ years are also welcome to attend. Call us on 13 20 50.

Don’t forget to bring your Medicare card.

You should not have a mammogram if you are pregnant due to the potential radiation harm to the baby.

If you are breastfeeding you should postpone your screening mammogram until three months after you have finished lactation. This is because breast tissue is more dense with stored milk when breast feeding, making screening mammograms less effective.

If you see or feel changes in one or both of your breasts you should visit your GP or health care worker.

We are committed to making sure our services are inclusive and accessible for all people regardless of their gender identity. We have information about breast screening for trans and gender diverse people.

How to access this service

You do not need a referral from your GP to use our service.

You can make an appointment by calling BreastScreen ACT on 13 20 50 between 8:30am and 5pm Monday to Friday.

For group bookings, please email

What to expect

When you call BreastScreen ACT you will be asked specific questions about yourself and your breast health. If eligible, we will make an appointment at that time.

We will give you some instructions about what you need to do before coming and we will let you know how to find us.

If you agree, an SMS reminder message will be sent to you three days before your appointment.

On the day of your appointment, we ask that you wear a two-piece outfit, such as skirt or pants and a top.

Please do not use talcum powder on the day of your appointment around the chest/breast area.

At your appointment you will be asked to make sure we have recorded your details correctly. We also ask you some questions relating to your health and any history of breast cancer in your family.

You will be shown to a ‘BreastScreen only’ waiting area.

The Radiographer will come and get you. The Radiographer is the person doing the screening mammogram. She will meet you and talk to you about what is going to happen and make sure you are comfortable before starting. They will then take two X-rays of each breast or each side of your chest.

You can ask to stop at any time.

Your X-rays will be reviewed by at least two specially trained doctors and every effort is made to ensure you receive your results by mail within two weeks.

You may be called back for us to look more closely at any areas of interest in your breast/s that have been seen on the mammogram (x-ray). If this is necessary, a Nurse Counsellor from BreastScreen ACT will phone to discuss this with you. You will be asked to make yourself available for the whole day when you come back.

At this appointment you may have:

  • 3D mammograms
  • an ultrasound
  • a biopsy (a needle to take a small amount of breast tissue).

You may be told your result before leaving, or asked to come back so we can discuss your results with you and your support person/s.

Most people who are called back for further investigation do not have breast cancer.

Most people who have breast implants can have regular breast screening every two years. When you call to make an appointment, we will ask if you have implants because you will need a slightly longer appointment.

Most people with disability can have a mammogram but, for some, it may not be possible to have a mammogram. You should talk to your doctor about breast screening to decide whether its right for you.

If you have a disability, including one that affects your mobility, or you have a carer, you can give us a call on (02) 6205 5053 to work out the best option for you.

Trans and Gender Diverse (TGD) people are welcome to screen with us if you are aged 40 or over and meet the eligibility criteria. You can call our Clinical Coordinator on (02) 6205 5053 if you have any questions. We have more information about breast screening for trans and gender diverse people.

What to bring to your appointment

  • Medicare card
  • Medicines you need to take while you are here
  • Previous x-ray films, scans, ultrasounds or any other test results or reports

Where we’re located

Screening services are located at:

If you are called to come back for further investigation, you will be required to come to an assessment clinic in the City Community Health Centre.


Assess your breast cancer risk

Find out more about your personal risk of developing breast cancer by using the iPrevent tool on the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre website.

If you would like to speak to someone about your family risk, speak to your GP or contact our BreastScreen ACT Nurse Counsellors on (02) 6205 5053 between 8.30am – 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.

Useful websites and information sheets

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In the case of a life threatening emergency, dial Triple Zero (000).

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Contact us

Switchboard Canberra Hospital
(02) 5124 0000

International callers
+61 (2) 5124 0000

Switchboard North Canberra Hospital
(02) 6201 6111

International callers
+61 (2) 6201 6111

Switchboard other hospitals and services
(02) 5124 0000

International callers
+61 (2) 5124 0000

The switchboard handles all calls to, from and within the hospital 24 hours/seven days a week