Women who notice a breast change that is unusual for them should see their doctor (GP) without delay. Nine out of ten breast changes are not due to breast cancer, however, women should see their doctor to be sure. Their doctor or GP may refer them to a breast diagnostic service.
Women referred to a breast diagnostic service to investigate a breast change should have all three tests that make up the triple test. The combination of all three tests is the best way to rule out or diagnose breast cancer.
Breast diagnostic services:
- are typically located in a public or private hospital clinic or at a private facility
- perform the triple test
- collate the results of the triple test and communicate the results to the woman
- send test results and any recommendations for next steps to a woman’s doctor (GP).
The Standard of care for breast diagnostic services is a best practice benchmark for breast diagnostic services. It was developed to help ensure that Australian women who attend a breast diagnostic service for the investigation of their breast change receive care that is:
- high quality
- safe, and
- based on the most current research.
Women who attend breast diagnostic services can claim some or all of the cost of tests through Medicare. Some costs may be covered by private health insurance. These details can be checked with the breast diagnostic services before an appointment is made.
Breast diagnostic services are not the same as BreastScreen Australia services.
BreastScreen Australia is a mammographic screening program for women who do not have any known breast changes or symptoms.