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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