Breast screening | Te Whatu Ora | Health New Zealand | Hauora a Toi Bay of Plenty

Breast screening

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BreastScreen Aotearoa

BreastScreen Aotearoa is a free national breast screening programme that checks 45 to 69 year-old women for early breast cancer.

The programme aims to reduce the number of women who die from breast cancer.

You can have a free screening mammogram every two years through BreastScreen Aotearoa if you:

  • are aged 45 - 69 years
  • have no symptoms of breast cancer
  • have not had a mammogram in the last 12 months
  • are not pregnant or breastfeeding
  • are eligible for public health services in New Zealand

Find out your Eligibility for publicly funded health services

To find out more about the BreastScreen Aotearoa programme visit

Enrolling and booking an appointment

  • Freephone 0800 270 200 to enrol and/or book an appointment
  • You can enrol when you visit your GP. They may send you a letter advising that you may be eligible to join the BreastScreen Aotearoa programme.
  • Enrol online by visiting the BreastScreen Aotearoa website.

If you have been previously screened by BreastScreen Aotearoa you will receive a letter inviting you for another mammogram when you are due.

About mammograms

Mammograms are breast x-rays which:

  • can show changes in the breast before anything can be seen or felt - in most cases the changes will not be cancer
  • can detect breast cancer early, which means a very good chance of successful treatment
  • are particularly effective in women 50 years and over who have mammograms every two years
  • can detect about 75 percent of unsuspected cancers in women under 50 and 85 percent in women over 50
  • cannot prevent you getting breast cancer and cannot always prevent death from breast cancer.

Some breast cancers develop during the time between screening mammograms, so it is important that you are breast-aware. If you notice any breast symptoms (changes that are not normal for you), see your doctor as soon as possible. 

Symptoms could include:
  • a new lump or thickening in your breast
  • a change in breast shape or size
  • unusual breast pain
  • puckering or dimpling of the skin.
Any change in one nipple, such as:
  • a turned-in nipple
  • a discharge that occurs without squeezing
  • a rash or reddening of the skin that appears only on the breast.

Breast screening in the BOP

Bay of Plenty women can have a mammogram at locations in Tauranga, Mount Maunganui and Whakatāne or in one of two mobile units that visit remote areas every two years.

Hauora a Toi Bay of Plenty contracts the Western Bay of Plenty Primary Health Organisation (Ph 07 571 2100) and the Eastern Bay Primary Health Alliance (Ph 07 306 2341) to provide additional support services to eligible women.

You can also call 0800 729 729

To find out more about the BreastScreen Aotearoa programme visit