What to expect at an appointment

A visit to a breast screening unit usually takes about half an hour. Breast screening reception at Norwich Community HospitalYou’ll be greeted by a mammography practitioner who checks your personal details. She’ll explain how and when you get your results. If this is the last time you’ll be invited for screening mammography, you’ll be reminded that you can phone the department to make another appointment in three years time.

In the privacy of the x-ray room, the radiographer or mammography practitioner will ask you about any symptoms or history of breast disease, and explain what will happen when the mammograms are taken. The mammography practitioner then takes the mammogram.

The mammogram (breast x-ray)

A Mammogram

The mammogram (breast x-ray) examines both breasts by compressing them, one at a time, between two plates, for a few seconds. The compression does not cause harm to the breasts and it is needed to keep the breast still, get the clearest picture, and give the lowest amount of radiation possible.  Some women can find the compression uncomfortable and a few may find it painful.

Images are taken from two planes, a minimum of four pictures are required.

When will I get my results?

You should receive your results to your home address within two to three weeks. The mammogram will be read by two qualified film readers. You may need to be recalled to the second stage of breast screening if an area of concern is identified on your initial mammograms.  If this is necessary, you will receive a letter with another appointment to the assessment clinic. This assessment would possibly involve further mammograms, an examination with a doctor and a breast ultrasound.

Please be aware that if you are recalled, it does not always mean you have breast cancer.

We’ve created an easy read leaflet for more information.

The Cambridge Cohort – Mammography East-Anglia Digital Imaging Archive (CC-MEDIA)

The Department of Radiology at University of Cambridge is conducting research to test how well AI algorithms which have been developed by different groups and companies perform in the context of breast cancer screening, with a view to improving screening. To find out more, you can read the full summary or a short summary.

Norwich Breast Screening will be providing data to help build a database containing mammograms from approximately 150,000 women to be representative of the UK population. If you do not wish your data to be included in this research project, or would like further information, please contact us on 01223 348937 or braid.trial@nhs.net.