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Breast Cancer Early Detection Programme

Participation is entirely up to you! The Breast Cancer Early Detection Programme is entirely voluntary. Like with all medical procedures, early detection screening has both advantages and disadvantages that you should take into consideration, possibly in consultation with your doctor, before deciding.

A suspicion of breast cancer that turns out to be unfounded can cause unnecessary worry. Sometimes screening reveals tumours that may never cause problems. As it can never be predicted with complete certainty that a tumour will remain harmless, treatment is usually recommended.

Mammography is currently the best early detection method for early-stage breast cancer. An early detection screening cannot prevent breast cancer, but it can improve patients’ chances for a successful treatment and help avoid additional suering.

Why is breast cancer early detection screening important, and who should go?

Breast cancer is currently the most common type of cancer in women. Around 5,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in Austria each year. The risk of contracting breast cancer increases with age. While early detection cannot prevent breast cancer, it can and does improve the chances of successful treatment.

The Austrian Breast Cancer Early Detection Programme is aimed at healthy women showing no signs or symptoms of breast cancer.

For women 40 and over, every two years

  • If you are a woman between the ages of 45 and 69, all you need is your e-card to go for regular breast cancer screening.
  • If you are between the ages of 40 and 44 or 70 and over, you’ll need to sign up for the programme before going to your screening with your e-card.
  • To sign up, please call the service hotline 0800 500 181 or sign up online at: → Your e-card should be activated within about two days of signing up. 

Please feel free to consult your physician (for example your family doctor or OB/GYN specialist) before scheduling an examination. You will be sent a personal invitation every two years to remind you to go for a screening and to keep you up-to-date on the programme. When you do go for your examination, you only need to present your e-card.

What should I do if I have symptoms or an increased risk of breast cancer?

In the event of a medical indication: Any time and at any age - Have your doctor refer you to a specialist for a diagnostic mammography. 

How do I schedule a breast cancer screening?

It couldn't be easier: Just schedule an appointment with the participating radiologist of your choice. Participating facilities are subject to regular quality control and use only digital, low-radiation equipment. The names and addresses of participating radiologists can be found in the invitation letter or online at

What should I expect at the examination?

During a mammography, your breast will be pressed between two photographic plates. This can cause some discomfort. The resulting images will then be reviewed by a team of two specially trained radiologists. If any abnormalities or increased density of the breast tissue are detected, an additional ultra sound examination will be conducted.

Your results will be sent to you by post or given to you directly at the radiologist's o ce. You can also opt to have your regular doctor informed of the results of your early detection screening. If your results are normal, you can schedule your next breast cancer screening in two years' time. If the results are unclear or if abnormalities are detected, you will be instructed to have follow-up testing.