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Position Statement on the use of fine needle aspiration and core biopsy of the breast in the BreastScreen Australia program

Revised & updated:
First published:
Resource status: Current

This resource has been developed, reviewed or revised within the last 5 years.


The purpose of this Position Statement is to provide guidance on the use of fine needle aspiration (FNA)[1] and core biopsy for the assessment of abnormalities identified through population screening for breast cancer. The Position Statement will establish national BreastScreen Australia policy on breast biopsy and support best practice care in the BreastScreen Australia program.


Cancer Australia develops position statements using the best available evidence to provide national leadership and direction on issues with an impact on cancer, which are of clinical significance, emerging in cancer control, or of significant community interest.

BreastScreen Australia is Australia’s national population-based screening program for breast cancer. BreastScreen Australia services are delivered by state and territory governments, through dedicated, accredited Screening and Assessment Services (SAS).

The BreastScreen Australia Program aims to reduce morbidity and mortality from breast cancer through an organised systematic approach to the early detection of breast cancer using screening mammography. 

Provision of a high-quality service to women is of great importance to BreastScreen Australia. For this reason, services accredited under BreastScreen Australia are expected to operate according to the BreastScreen Australia National Accreditation Standards (NAS), along with national policies and protocols.