Detecting breast cancer and other breast conditions early gives the best chance of successful treatment. The Northern Ireland Breast Screening Programme provides free breast screening every three years for all women aged between 50 and 70.
Arranging a breast screen
Women aged 50 to 70, who are registered with a GP, are invited for breast screening every three years. Your local screening centre or primary care trust should contact you and arrange an appointment.
Women over 70 are not automatically invited for screening but are encouraged to make their own appointment by contacting their local screening centre.
Translations of the Breast screening can save lives leaflet can be downloaded from the links below:
- Cantonese (PDF 300 KB)
- Mandarin (PDF 275 KB)
- Irish (PDF 51 KB)
- Lithuanian (PDF 137 KB)
- Polish (PDF 141 KB)
- Portuguese (PDF 49 KB)
- Russian (PDF 178 KB)
- Slovak (PDF 133 KB)
- Help with PDF files
Breast screening is a way of detecting breast cancer at a very early stage. The first step involves an x-ray of each breast – a mammogram – which is taken while carefully compressing the breast. The mammogram can detect small changes in breast tissue which may indicate cancers that are too small to be felt either by the woman herself or by a doctor.
About one in every 20 women needs to return for further tests after a mammogram. This does not necessarily mean that there is anything wrong – four out of five women recalled are given normal results following these tests.
More information on what to expect if you are called back for a second visit can be found in the the following leaflet:
If tests show no abnormality then you will be given the following leaflet:
What if I have breast implants?
A standard mammogram may be less effective if a woman has a breast implant, and therefore women are advised to attend their local screening centre rather than a mobile unit.
Advice and support
There are a number of organisations providing information and support for women with breast cancer or other breast related problems. Breast Cancer Care offers a free help, information and support service. Call the free helpline on 0808 800 6000 or visit the website.