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Breast cancer

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in Australian women.  It is estimated that over 19,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in 2020. More than 160 males will be found to have breast cancer during 2020 in Australia.

Survival rates have improved markedly since 1987. The five year survival has increased from 75% up to 91%

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in females.  Lung cancer remains the first cause of cancer deaths in Australian women.

An early diagnosis offers an advantage with the successful outcome of treatment for breast cancer.


BreastScreen Queensland provides free breast cancer screening for all eligible Queensland women. Women aged between 50 -74 years are able to have a free mammogram every 2 years. Breast screening is for women without any symptoms of breast cancer.

BreastScreen will also screen women younger than 50 years if they have a family history of breast cancer. Find out more about BreastScreen services in Central Queensland.

Am I at risk of breast cancer? I found a lump in my breast.

Signs of breast cancer can include:

  • new lumps or thickening in the breast or under the arm
  • nipple sores
  • nipple discharge or turning in
  • change in the size or shape of the breast
  • skin of the breast dimpling
  • rash or red swollen breast

How will I get tested?

Your GP will examine you and send you for some tests.

  • Mammogram
  • Ultrasound
  • Biopsy

My results are positive...what happens next?

  • CT scan
  • MRI scan
  • Staging
  • Referral to specialist or a surgeon.
  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Hormone therapy
  • Symptom management
Last updated: 3 June 2021