Why is breast screening important?

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in the UK. Screening aims to find breast cancers early. If cancer is picked up early, it means that treatment is more likely to work, and more people survive.

Breast screening is offered to women aged 50 up to 71 – women over 71 can self-refer – and it uses an X-ray test called a mammogram that can spot cancers when they’re too small to see or feel.

What is the breast screening process?

Breast screening is usually done by one or two female mammographers who will be happy to answer any questions or concerns people have. The process only takes a few minutes.

The process:

  • The individual will be asked to undress in a private changing area, so they are naked from the waist up. They may be given a hospital gown to wear.
  • They will be called into the X-ray room where the mammographer will explain what will happen.
  • The mammographer will place their breast onto the X-ray machine. It will be squeezed between two pieces of plastic to keep it still while X-rays are taken. This takes a few seconds, and the individual will need to stay still.
  • The X-ray machine will then be tilted to one side and the process will be repeated on the side of the breast.
  • The other breast will be X-rayed in the same way and then they can return to the changing area to get dressed.
  • They will receive the results in the post.

Click the link below to download the breast screening pathway or for more information from the NHS on the process of breast screening click here. 

Where can people access breast screening?

There are several breast screening hubs across Cheshire and Merseyside. To access breast screening, please speak to your GP in the first instance.

The Conversational Toolkit

This hub has been created to give you all the tools and information you need to promote the importance of cancer screening and encourage people to get checked. Let’s work together to raise awareness and save lives.

Visit the conversational toolkit