Diagnostic Services



What is a screening mammogram?
A screening mammogram is an x-ray exam of the breasts in women who have no breast symptoms. It is used to detect and evaluate breast changes. The goal of a screening mammogram is to find cancer when it is too small to be felt by a woman or her doctor. Finding small breast cancers early with a screening mammogram greatly improves a woman’s chance for successful treatment.

It is important to remember that over 90% of screening mammograms are normal.

At what age can I undergo breast screening?
If you are aged 40 or over ask your doctor or see one of our private GP’s and learn what the right breast screening plan is for you, based on your individual risks. Being a woman and getting older increases the risk for breast cancer.  

Does having a mammogram hurt?
Some women find having a mammogram uncomfortable, but the discomfort is short lived. If you are still having periods, try not to schedule your mammogram for the week just before your period. Schedule it when your breasts are not tender or swollen to help reduce discomfort and get a good picture. 

When will I get my results?
Your mammogram will be reported by two breast radiologists and we aim for the results to be forwarded to the referring doctor within 2 working days. You will need to make an appointment with your GP/Referring clinician to discuss the results of your breast screening mammogram.

Benefits and limitations
It is important women have information to make informed decisions about their health. Weighing up the limitations and benefits will help you decide whether a screening mammogram is right for you.

What are the benefits of breast screening?

  • Regular screening prevents deaths from breast cancer.
  • Breast screens can detect most cancers early–even before they can be felt or noticed.
  • If breast cancer is found early, it is more likely to be small, and successfully treated.
  • The earlier breast cancer is found, the better your chance of surviving it.

For more information please visit our Breast Care Unit or contact the unit on 0207 483 5148.

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