Breast  cancer screening

About one in nine women will develop breast cancer at some time during their life.

Since 1988 the NHS Breast Screening Programme has screened over
19 million women in the UK and detected 117,000 cancers. It saves around 1,400 lives a year in England. Breast screening is a method of detecting breast cancer at a very early stage.

Be breast aware

Women of all ages should be breast aware.

Follow the five point plan:

  • know what is normal for you
  • look at and feel your breasts 
  • know what changes to look for (lumps, pain, discharge from the nipple or anything else unusual) 
  • tell your doctor about any changes as soon as possible 
  • go for breast screening every three years if you are over 50.

Who needs to be screened?

Screening is offered to all women in Bexley registered with a GP, aged between 50 and 70 every three years. In addition, some women aged between 47 to 50 years and between 70 to 73 years are invited to have a mammogram every three years as part of the NHS age extension programme, which is currently being phased in and will be completed by 2016.

Women aged over 70 years should ask for an appointment for screening every three years by telephoning the south-east  London breast screening service on 020 3299 1964.


What does the screening involve?

You will be asked to undress to the waist and each breast in turn will be placed between two X-ray plates and compressed. Two ‘views’ of your breast will be taken: top to bottom and side to side. The whole visit should take around half an hour.

The screening staff will tell you when to expect your results. If your screening
result is not clear, you may be recalled to hospital for further assessment. A
recall does not necessarily mean you have cancer. It may mean doctors want to
investigate further, or that the mammogram was not clear enough and you need
another one.

We will invite you for screening by getting you name from NHS records, this is obtained from your GP details therefore it is important that your contact details are kept up to date with your doctor.

The screening centre may be in a hospital/clinic or mobile. Breast awareness and regular mammograms offer you the best chance of finding breast cancers early.