Breast cancer

Breast cancer is New Zealand’s third most common cancer and accounts for more than 600 deaths every year.

The risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer increases with age.

  • Breast cancer isn’t common in women under the age of 50.
  • About 70% of women who are diagnosed with breast cancer and about 80% of women who die from it are 50 years or older.

Some women are at greater risk of breast cancer because there is a history of close family members having the disease. However, most women who develop breast cancer have no relatives with the disease. Even among women who do have relatives with breast cancer, most will never develop it.

Related websites

Time to Screen
The website of BreastScreen Aotearoa, New Zealand’s free national breast screening programme for women aged between 45 and 69. Find out about breast cancer, and how to sign up for a free mammogram.

Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition
A charity providing information, support and representation for those with breast cancer. This website covers breast cancer detection, treatment and care and includes links to others experiencing breast cancer.

Breast Cancer Foundation
The country’s leading breast cancer education and awareness organisation. Has information on screening and early detection, diagnosis, and treatment.

Cancer Society
The Cancer Society of New Zealand is the country’s largest source of information about cancer and its effects. This website provides information on types of cancer, diagnosis, methods of treatment and advice on living with cancer.

Health Navigator
The Health Navigator NZ website helps you find reliable and trustworthy health information and self-help resources on breast cancer.

Better Health Channel
The Better Health Channel is a Victorian (Australia) State Government website. It provides a wide range of health and medical information on conditions including cancer.

Information for health professionals

Cancer programme
The Ministry is developing a national work plan that puts equity first and enables national consistency in access to treatment.

National Screening Unit
The National Screening Unit is responsible for the development, management and monitoring of nationally organised population-based screening in New Zealand.

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