If you're age 70+, you're no longer entitled to a free screening mammogram. “Does that mean I don't need a mammogram any more?”
Your risk of getting breast cancer at age 70 is actually slightly higher than it was when you were 50, and the risk stays fairly high into older age. More than 800 women aged 70+ are diagnosed in NZ each year – that's one quarter of breast cancers.
But paying to have a mammogram privately can be a difficult decision – the current cost is $290-$385 for a mammogram depending on the provider – and as you get older, you might have other health problems that mean you'll benefit less from finding cancer early. On the other hand, most of us expect to live considerably longer than 70 years, and we want to be in good health for as long as possible.
Screen 70+ can help you decide whether or not to continue having mammograms from age 70.
If you've had breast cancer before, or if you have possible breast cancer symptoms – a lump, unusual pain, skin or nipple changes – don't use this tool. See your doctor to discuss your screening needs.