Breast Screening


Saving lives - detecting cancer early



Some facts:

  •        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



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