What is it Like Having A Mammogram? – Breastscreen ACT

By February 12, 2016♥ My Community Blog

“I would implore all women from 50 years onward to have a mammogram …. It takes about half an hour every 2 years and you are worth it.”
– Orana, nurse

Having a mammogram is free and can offer you peace of mind and more treatment options

Breast screening is about early detection, we want to see all women that are feeling well and don’t have any symptoms. We are looking to identify any abnormalities to breast tissue before a woman has any awareness.

BreastScreen ACT uses the newest and best available equipment for mammograms. We have a new 3D mammography machine which allows our radiologists to precisely examine breast tissue in very thin slices, enhancing the accuracy of diagnosis.


My name is Orana and I’m a registered nurse. I have now had two mammograms with BreastScreen ACT. My first was at 50 and my second at 52.

As a nurse working in general practice with an interest in Women’s Health I have always stressed and encouraged women to have regular mammograms for early detection of abnormalities to breast tissue. Early detection offers women many more treatment options and peace of mind.

It’s so easy to have a mammogram here in Canberra. Just phone BreastScreen ACT and make an appointment at one of the centres that are situated throughout Canberra. Mammograms through BreastScreen ACT are FREE!

Once you have made your appointment you just need to turn up and fill in some paperwork, then go to one of the change rooms to remove your bra and put your top back on, or change into a gown if you request one (for privacy and easy access to your breasts). You are then taken in by the radiographer who will perform the mammogram. You will have to stand up for the mammogram and put your arms in different positions for a good picture. If you can’t stand, the Radiographers will  work around this. I know some people make the comment that it can hurt when the breast tissue is compressed “squashed”  but I have not had this experience.

The  mammogram itself  is quick and once completed you get changed and leave. You and your GP will receive a letter in the post notifying you whether you require 2 yearly follow up or if there is an abnormality, BreastScreen ACT will contact you directly.

For me as a nurse, another important factor about this experience was to ensure the area is clean and that infection control measures are taken, such as cleaning the machine between patients and the radiographer’s washing their hands prior to performing the procedure. This was carried out and the radiographer did not know I was a nurse.

I would implore all women from 50 years onward to have a mammogram. It is for you and your family. It does not take long and it is free. It takes about half an hour every 2 years and you are worth it.

Call 13 20 50 today and make an appointment at either, the City, Phillip or Belconnen.