Should I postpone my breast screening?

26 Mar 2020 by Krystal Barter
Should I postpone my breast screening?

In light of the evolving situation, all recommendations are subject to rapid change:

Should I postpone my breast screening?

In light of COVID-19 and its broad reaching impact upon just about every industry in Australia, we checked in with leading Australian Specialist Oncoplastic Breast Cancer Surgeon, Dr Jane O’Brien to discuss how the impact of the virus is influencing the breast screening system, and what women should know about their regular breast checks.

In Jane’s words, she and her colleagues are “building the boat as we sail in it”. Given the unpredictable, and constantly evolving nature of the COVID-19 virus, the advice below is being frequently reviewed to align what is possible, with the best interests of Australian women and their breast health, at any given time.

The ban on all non-urgent elective surgery announced by the Prime Minister yesterday does not apply to breast cancer surgery, which is category one, and as such will continue at present. The ban has been introduced for the following reasons:

  • reduce the risk of COVID 19 exposure to staff
  • to decrease the number of non-urgent patients attending health facilities
  • to limit the use of PPE in the context of current and predicted supply deficiencies

Any routine investigations should similarly be suspended for the same reasons.

Breastscreen have suspended screening, and all breast imaging which is for screening purposes for women without current symptoms should be deferred until further notice.



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