Appointments

Can I change the date and time of my appointment?

Yes.

Please ring the breast screening unit to alter the date, time or location of your screening appointment. The breast screening unit can be contacted Mon-Fri from 8.30am to 4.30pm on 01962 824841, email hhft.breastscreening@nhs.net or by using this form

 

Can I change the location of my appointment?

Yes.

We have three mobile vans in different locations. These do move regularly so please check with the breast screening unit which locations are currently available.

I don’t want to be screened, what do I do?

We respect your decision not to be screened, although we would encourage all women to attend for breast screening when invited. However if you choose not to take up your invitation please contact the breast screening unit. Every missed appointment costs the NHS around £160. If you cannot make your appointment, please let the screening unit know so we can give it to another patient.

If you change your mind at any point in the future please contact us. We will be happy to make you another appointment.

You can contact the breast screening unit on 01962 824841 or email hhft.breastscreening@nhs.net.

 

I have been invited for breast screening, but I have had a recent mammogram, do I still need to come?

You can attend your breast screening appointment if your last mammogram was done more than six months ago. If you decide not to come for your screening appointment it may mean waiting over three years for your mammogram. However, if you are currently under care for breast cancer please contact us on 01962 824841 or email hhft.breastscreening@nhs.net

 

I have moved house, what happens to my screening appointment?

If you have notified your GP practice of your new address you will be invited for screening at the normal time.
If you have moved house and fear you may have missed a screening appointment please contact the breast screening unit on 01962 824841 or email hhft.breastscreening@nhs.net.

 

I missed my appointment, how do I get another one?

Please contact the breast screening unit to arrange a new appointment.  You can contact the breast screening unit on 01962 824841 or email hhft.breastscreening@nhs.net

 

Why have I been sent to a different site this time?

Our screening locations can change occasionally due to availability.  If the site you have been called to is not convenient you can contact the breast screening unit on 01962 824841 or email hhft.breastscreening@nhs.net 

Symptoms

I have a breast lump, how do I make an appointment?

If you have a breast lump or any other breast symptoms you should see your GP, who may organise a referral to the symptomatic breast service at your local hospital. 

What should I do if I notice breast changes?

See your GP without delay, even if you have had a recent mammogram.  Breast changes can occur at anytime and should be investigated promptly. 

 

Family history

I have a family history of breast cancer, do I need to have mammograms more often?

If you fear you are more at risk of breast cancer because of your family history, you should discuss this with your GP.  Your GP can advise you further and may refer you to a Family History clinic at your local hospital. They will assess your risk and arrange extra screening if needed. 

Having a mammogram

Are mammograms safe?

Any X-Ray involves radiation but mammograms only require a very low dose.  The risk that such a low dose could cause a cancer is far outweighed by the benefits of early detection of breast cancer. 

Can I bring someone with me?

Yes.  Please be aware that there is limited space on our mobile screening vans and for privacy reasons men are not allowed on mobile vans. 

Does a mammogram hurt?

Some women find mammography uncomfortable and some find it painful, as the breasts have to be held firmly in position and compressed while the image is taken.  If you do experience pain it usually only lasts as long as the mammogram, for a small number of women pain can last longer.  Research has shown that for most women it's less painful than having a blood test and compares with having blood pressure measured.  

Does breast screening prevent breast cancer?

No.  Breast screening aims to find breast cancer at an early stage when it may be too small to feel.  Finding breast cancer early greatly increases your chances of successful treatment. 

How long will the mammogram take?

Your appointment time is 6 minutes; however your whole visit to the screening unit can take about 20 minutes depending upon how busy it is.  

I have a disability, how will this affect my screening appointment?

Please contact the breast screening unit on 01962 824841 to discuss your appointment or email hhft.breastscreening@nhs.net.  We can provide an appointment at our main screening unit where there is better disabled access.  We can also provide a longer appointment with more staff available depending on your needs. 

I have a pacemaker, can I have a mammogram?

Yes.  It is safe for you to have a mammogram.  Please inform the mammographer of the site of your pacemaker. 

I have breast implants, can I have a mammogram?

Yes. If you have implants, the mammographer will use a different technique to achieve the images required.  There is no evidence to suggest breast impants are damaged by mammograms.  If you have implants and have been given an appointment, please contact the breast screening unit on 01962 824841 or email hhft.breastscreening@nhs.net 

 

What is a mammogram?

A mammogram is an x-ray examination of the breasts and is a method of finding breast cancer at a very early stage.  A female mammographer will compress your breasts, one at a time between two special x-ray plates and take the x-rays.  The compression only lasts a few seconds and does not cause any harm to the breasts. Compression is needed to keep the breast still and to get the clearest picture with the lowest amount of radiation possible.  

What shall I wear for my appointment?

You will be asked to undress completely down to your waist so it's a good idea to wear separates rather than a dress. 

When do I get my result?

Your results will be sent to your home address 2-3 weeks after your mammogram. 

Who will take my mammogram?

Your mammogram will always be performed by a female mammographer. 

Do I need a thyroid guard whilst having a mammogram?

No.  Social media's recent suggestion that this is a requirement is not currently supported by scientific literature. 

Previous/current breast cancer

I have had breast cancer in the past, do I still need to come?

We are happy to screen women who have had breast cancer.  If you have recently had a mammogram please contact the breast screening unit on 01962 824841 or email hhft.breastscreening@nhs.net for advice.  

I am currently under care for breast cancer, do I still need to come?

If you are currently under hospital care and receiving yearly follow-up mammograms then you do not need to also have a screening mammogram.

If you receive a three yearly breast screening letter and are currently under care for breast cancer, please contact us on 01962 824841 or email hhft.breastscreening@nhs.net

Timing of breast screening

I am 50, why have I not received my appointment?

The NHS Breast Screening Programme calls women from their GP practices in turn.  This means not every woman receives her invitation as soon as she is 50.  You will be invited between the ages of 50 and 53. If you're registered with a GP and the practice has your correct details, you'll automatically receive an invitation. 

I am under 50, can I have an appointment?

Currently the breast screening programme does not routinely screen all women under the age of 50. This is because 80% of all breast cancers occur in women over the age of 50. We have, from June 2011, extended the breast screening programme to include some women between 47 and 49 years, and some women between 71 and 73 years, as part of the age extension pilot. Routine screening in women below 50 has not yet shown to be of benefit. If you do not receive an appointment and you are below 50 years of age, then you have not been included in this pilot. All women should continue to be breast aware. 

I am over 71, can I have an appointment?

Yes.  The risk of getting breast cancer increases as women get older and we encourage women over 71 to continue with three yearly screening.  All women over the age of 71 will need to contact the breast screening unit on 01962 824841 or email hhft.breastscreening@nhs.net to arrange their appointment as they will no longer be automatically invited.  

 

What should I do between breast screens?

You should continue to be breast aware, look and feel, learning what is normal for you and reporting any changes or concerns to your GP without delay. Do not wait until your next mammogram. Breast screening will pick up most but not all breast cancer. 

Why is my screening invitation not exactly 3 years since my last appointment?

Occasionally, changes to the screening plan result in women receiving an appointment slightly earlier than the standard 3 years, but if you believe it's been more than 3 years since your last screening mammogram please contact the breast screening unit on 01962 824841 or email hhft.breastscreening@nhs.net