Breast Screening (Mammogram) 

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Who should attend breast screenings? 
 
Females aged 50 to 71 years.  Screening is every 3 years. 

 

Anyone registered with a GP as female will be invited for an NHS breast screening every 3 years between the ages of 50 and 71.  

 

You can have breast screening whatever size or shape your breasts are. 

 

If you're a trans man, trans woman or are non-binary you may be invited automatically, however, if you have concerns and feel your invite should have been sent, please talk to your GP practice or call the local breast screening service. 

How do I know when to attend my breast screening? 
 

You'll automatically get your first invite for breast screening between the ages of 50 and 53. Then you'll be invited every 3 years until you turn 71. 

 

It’s important that you attend as soon as it's possible for you to do so. 

 

You need to be registered with a GP practice to be invited for breast screening. 

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Find out how to register with a GP 

Are you concerned that you've missed my breast screening? 
 

If you’ve misplaced your invite or know you are due to have a breast screening, please contact your local breast screening team. 

 

Breast Screening – Find your nearest breast screening services online 

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Find out how to register with a GP 

Why is breast screening important?

 

Breast screening is important as it helps to find breast cancer before you notice any signs or symptoms.

Regular breast screening is one of the best ways to spot a cancer that is too small to feel or see.

Breast screening saves around 1,300 lives each year in the UK.

 

Finding cancer early can make it:

  • more likely that treatment will be successful

  • less likely you'll need to have a breast removed (mastectomy)

  • more likely you'll be cured

You can have breast screening whatever size or shape your breasts are.

Screening does not stop you getting breast cancer, but it is the best way to spot cancers at an early stage.

Why is a mammogram?

Breast screening is done through a process known as mammogram. 

 

A mammogram is an X-ray picture of the breast.   

 

The goal of mammography is to detect early signs of breast cancer. 

 

What is a mammographer? 

 

A mammographer is a health professional who is trained to take mammograms (breast X-rays).  

 

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What happens at a breast screening appointment?

The mammograms only take a few minutes and the whole appointment should take about 30 minutes in total. 

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Breast screening is usually carried out by 1 or 2 female mammographers.  

 

  1. Before starting, the mammographer will check your details and explain what will happen during the screening, they’ll also answer any questions you have. 

 

  1. You'll be called into the X-ray room and the mammographer will explain what will happen. 

 

  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.  

 

  1. During breast screening you'll have 4 breast X-rays (mammograms), 2 for each breast. 

 

  1. You will then return to the changing area to get dressed. 

 

  1. Your results will be sent to you in the post, usually within 2 weeks. 

 

More information on breast screening

Find breast screening services in your area

Who to contact for help or information​

GP Directory - locate your local GP

 

Local cancer support services - find support and information in our local cancer directory 

 

Cancer Care Map is a simple, online resource that aims to help you find cancer support services in your local area