Breast Cancer Screening
Breast Cancer is the most common type of cancer in the UK. The chance of getting breast cancer increases as you get older. Most breast cancers are diagnosed in women over 50 years old. NHS breast screening checks use X-rays to look for cancers that are too small to see or feel.
Who is elgible for breast cancer screening?
You'll automatically get your first invite for breast screening between the ages of 50 and 53. Then you'll be invited every 3 years until you turn 71. All the patients at Gloucester Road Medical Centre are usually invited at the same time.
If you're a trans man, trans woman or are non-binary you may be invited automatically, or you may need to talk to your GP surgery or call the local breast screening service to ask for an appointment. The Avon Breast Screening Service is based at Southmead Hospital and can be contacted on 0117 414 7070
How can breast cancer screening help?
Regular breast screening is one of the best ways to spot a cancer that is too small to feel or see. Breast screening saves around 1,300 lives each year in the UK.
Finding cancer early can make it: more likely that treatment will be successful, less likely you'll need to have a breast removed and more likely you'll be cured. You can have breast screening whatever size or shape your breasts are.
What are the risks?
Doctors cannot always tell if a cancer will go on to be life-threatening or not. So treatment is always offered if you're diagnosed with breast cancer even if it would not have been life-threatening. Treatment of non life-threatening cancers is the main risk of breast screening.
Other risks of breast screening include: a cancer being missed – mammograms do not always find a cancer that is there and X-rays – having a mammogram every 3 years for 20 years gives you a very slightly higher chance of getting other types of cancer over your lifetime.
Most people feel the benefits of breast screening outweigh the possible risks.
Do I have a choice about being screened?
If you do not want to be invited for screening, contact a GP or your local breast screening service and ask to be taken off the breast screening list. You can ask them to put you back on the list at any time if you change your mind.
It's your choice if you want to go for breast screening. Screening does not stop you getting breast cancer, but it is the best way to spot cancers at an early stage.
Checking your breasts
If you notice any changes in your breasts that are not normal for you between you mammograms , contact a GP at Gloucester Road Medical Centre straightaway.
For more information and resources, please see these helpful websites below:
NHS Website - Breast screening (mammogram)
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