BreastScreen Australia is the national breast cancer screening program. It aims to reduce illness and death from breast cancer through an organised approach to the early detection of breast cancer, using screening mammography to detect unsuspected breast cancer in women. Early detection provides an opportunity for early treatment, which can reduce illness and death. Women aged 40 and over are eligible for free mammograms every 2 years.
This report is the latest in the BreastScreen Australia monitoring report series, which is published annually to provide regular monitoring of BreastScreen Australia. The latest data available for women aged 50–74―the target age group since 1 July 2013―are presented.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in Australian women
Breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting Australian women. In 2014, there were 10,230 new cases of invasive breast cancer diagnosed in women aged 50–74, which is equivalent to 326 new cases per 100,000 women.
Incidence increased from around 200 new cases per 100,000 women aged 50–74 in the years before BreastScreen Australia began in 1991, to 300 cases per 100,000 in 2000. For the years 2000 to 2014, incidence remained at around 300 new cases per 100,000 women.
Breast cancer is the second most common cause of cancer-related death in Australian women, behind lung cancer. In 2015, 1,432 women aged 50–74 died from breast cancer, which is equivalent to 45 deaths per 100,000 women aged 50–74.
Breast cancer mortality has decreased since BreastScreen Australia began—from 74 deaths per 100,000 women aged 50–74 in 1991 to less than 50 deaths per 100,000 since 2010.