Saving lives - detecting cancer early
- Cells in your breast grow uncontrollably and form a tumour.
- The most common cancer in the UK.
- Largely influenced by age, lifestyle and family history.
- 1 in 8 women are diagnosed in their lifetime.
- 8 in 10 women aged over 50 are diagnosed.
- 50,000 women were diagnosed in 2011.
Benefits of screening:
- A good chance of recovery if detected early.
- Less likely to need major intervention (breast removal, chemotherapy) if detected early.
Risks of screening:
- Cancers not normally a problem can be uncovered, resulting in unnecessary intervention.
What happens at a screening appointment?
- You will be required to undress from the waist up - wear a skirt or trousers.
- You will be screened by a female mammographer.
- A plastic plate is lowered gently on to each breast and clear x-ray pictures are taken.
- You may feel discomfort or slight pain –this is over quickly in less than half-an-hour.
What happens next?
- Results are sent to you and your GP no more than 2 weeks later.
- You may be recalled for further assessment - the first test may not have been clear.
- Be familiar with your breasts - not all cancers are found during screening. Look for :
- lump in breast or armpit
- change in size and/or shape
- dimpling of the skin
- turned in (inverted) nipple
- rash or discharge from the nipple.
Recall is every 3 years if you are aged 50-70. Let the unit know if you:
- need special facilities such as help with climbing up steps
- have implants
- are pregnant or are breast feeding.
Contact: Breast Screening Centre at Ninewells Hospital.
( 01382 425646