Breast Screening

NHS breast screening checks use X-rays to look for cancers that are too small to see or feel. Women aged 50 to 71 will routinely be invited for a mammogram every 3 years. From age 71 we must self-refer to our local breast screening centre.

Breast Screening – Mammography

Regularly checking for lumps in our breasts and going for mammograms is important. Rosemary talks about her experience of undergoing the tests.

During breast screening you’ll have 4 breast X-rays (mammograms), 2 for each breast. The mammograms are done by a specialist called a mammographer. The mammographer will be female.

The mammograms only take a few minutes. The whole appointment should take about 30 minutes. Before starting, the mammographer will check your details with you and ask if you have had any breast problems. They will also explain what will happen during the screening and answer any questions you have.

Breast screening is usually done by 1 or 2 female mammographers. You can ask them about any questions or concerns you have.

  1. You’ll need to undress, in a private changing area, so you are naked from the waist up. You may be given a hospital gown to put on.
  2. You’ll be called into the X-ray room and the mammographer will explain what will happen.
  3. The mammographer will place your breast onto the X-ray machine. It will be squeezed between 2 pieces of plastic to keep it still while the X-rays are taken. This takes a few seconds and you need to stay still. Your breast will be taken off of the machine afterwards.
  4. The X-ray machine will then be tilted to one side and the process will be repeated on the side of your breast.
  5. Your other breast will be X-rayed in the same way.
  6. You will then return to the changing area to get dressed.

Your results will be sent to you in the post.