Health conditions

Breast screening detection rates

Each year BreastScreen WA performs over 100,000 screening mammograms for Western Australian women.

Screening mammograms can detect up to 90 per cent of breast cancers.

About 950 of every 1,000 women screened will have no abnormality detected. These women will be sent a letter within 2 weeks to let them know their mammogram was normal.

Some women may be recalled for further tests, but this does not necessarily mean breast cancer has been detected.

About 50 women out of 1,000 will be called back for further tests. About 6 of these women may have a breast cancer detected.

Infographic showing 50 of 1000 women are called back for further tests, 6 of these women may have a breast cancer detected.

Find out more about being called back for further X-rays (external site).

For all women, there is a chance that:

  • the screening mammogram will miss a change due to breast cancer (a false negative result)
  • further tests will be performed to examine a change that is not due to breast cancer (a false positive result).

More information

Visit BreastScreen WA (external site) to download or order a wide range of publications, including languages other than English.


  • Screening mammograms may detect up to 90 per cent of breast cancers.
  • Being called back for more tests does not necessarily mean a breast cancer is present.

BreastScreen WA

This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

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