You will be invited to attend screening at one of the mobile screening units or at a screening centre. Your invitation letter will tell you where you will be screened. Where you are invited to attend will depend on which doctors’ surgery you are registered with.
Contact us if you cannot attend your appointment. We may be able to offer you a more suitable time, date and location.
Breast screening appointments are limited. Let us know if you are not planning to attend; we can offer your appointment to someone else.
If you need a longer appointment, contact us to discuss how we can support you.
If you missed your breast screening appointment you can contact us to arrange a new appointment. It is important that you do not wait for three years until you are invited again.
Before your appointment:
It is a good idea to wear trousers or a skirt and top, rather than a dress, as you will be asked to undress from the waist up.
Before your appointment, please do not use a spray deodorant or talcum powder, as this may show up on your breast x-ray. You can use roll-on deodorant.
Arrive on time. You cannot enter the mobile unit until your appointment time.
Due to the size of the mobile unit, we ask that you attend your appointment on your own. If you need support during your appointment, contact us before you attend.
We will not be able to do the screening test if you bring children with you. This is due to health and safety reasons.
Please note there are no toilet facilities on the mobile unit.
When you arrive at the breast screening unit, the staff will check your details and ask about any breast problems you have had. If you have any questions, please ask.
Breast x-rays are carried out by female staff called Radiographers or Assistant Practitioners. They will explain what will happen. You will be asked to change in the x-ray room or a private changing cubicle. You will need to remove your bra and if in a changing cubicle keep your top clothing on until you enter the x-ray room. It may be easier to wear a skirt or trousers instead of a dress.
When you are called for your breast x-ray, the member of staff taking the tests will place your breast onto the x-ray machine. A plastic plate will be lowered to flatten the breast. This is very important as it helps to keep your breast still and get clear x-rays. At least two x-rays of each breast will be taken.
The test will only take a few minutes. Everyone is different; some people may find the test uncomfortable or painful. This usually passes quickly. Tell the member of staff taking the test if you want the test to stop at any time.
If you have breast implants or injectable fillers, you will be given an information leaflet to read as these can make screening more difficult.
If you have any questions you can ask a member of screening staff.
If the member of staff is unable to complete your breast x-ray, you may still receive a result on the areas they have x-rayed.