BreastScreen Aotearoa Programme
BreastScreen Aotearoa is the free national breast screening programme for women aged between 45 and 69.
You can have a free screening mammogram every two years through BreastScreen Aotearoa if you meet the following requirements:
- you are aged 45 to 69 years of age
- you have no symptoms of breast cancer
- you have not had a mammogram in the last 12 months
- you are not pregnant or breastfeeding
- you are eligible for public health services in New Zealand. (If you are not sure if you are eligible to receive free public health services in New Zealand, visit www.moh.govt.nz/eligibility).
If you have symptoms of breast cancer, all your screening and diagnostic tests will be organised by your specialist.
The benefits of joining the BreastScreen Aotearoa programme are many. They include:
- free mammograms
- free follow-up assessment if you have an abnormal mammogram
- all your screening mammograms are kept together and will be used for comparison with future mammograms
- mammogram screenings are available every two years
- BreastScreen Aotearoa has rigorous quality standards
- BreastScreen Aotearoa providers are regularly monitored and audited.
How to join BreastScreen Aotearoa
If you have had a mammogram with BreastScreen Aotearoa before, you will get a letter inviting you for another mammogram with the programme. You can also make an appointment by ringing 0800 270 200. You should also ring this number if you have changed your address since your last mammogram.
All other women aged 45 to 69 who do not have breast symptoms can register for the programme by ringing 0800 270 200 or you can register online.
Mobile screening units also travel around the country. View the mobile screening unit schedule on-line, or phone BreastScreen Aotearoa on 0800 270 200 for more details.
Women who live in rural and provincial areas may have to travel for assessment and treatment to ensure they have access to high quality services. If you have a Community Services Card travel and accommodation will be paid to a set level.
Screening after breast cancer
Standard recommendations following a breast cancer diagnosis include annual mammography, clinical examination and treatment review through your GP or hospital clinic. District Health Boards are funded to provide this diagnostic mammography which is not part of BreastScreen Aotearoa.
If you wish, you may re-enrol for two yearly screening with BreastScreen Aotearoa five years after your breast cancer diagnosis, if you are still aged between 45 to 69 years.
You may also be advised by your doctor to continue having a mammogram on the alternate years at the hospital. Please consult with your healthcare professional for more information on breast screening after cancer.