Screening mammography is used to detect breast changes in women who have no signs or symptoms or observable breast abnormalities. The goal is to detect cancer before any clinical signs are noticeable. This usually requires at least two mammograms from different angles of each breast.
Most patients referred to The London Breast Clinic are done so by their Doctor as they have symptoms that requiring investigation.
If patients are concerned about their breast health from the age of 40 it is possible to self refer for breast screening.
In common with leading breast cancer centres and international standards we advocate routine annual full field digital mammography from the age of 40, or from 35 if high risk factors and family history have been identified. Patients under 40 would require a clinical referral indicating the risk factors and reason for mammography.
Our data shows that about 40% of new cancers seen at The London Breast Clinic are in patients under 50, the lower age level of the NHS Breast Screening Programme.
Patients in the 3 Yearly NHS Breast Screening Programme, who wish for peace of mind, can receive annual imaging since it is widely recognised that many screen detected cancers have developed during this 3 year screening interval.
Breast screening is based on monitoring changes in the breast using mammography so as well as providing investigations of lumps, we are happy to arrange annual surveillance, including a prepaid cycle of 3 years.
If abnormalities are identified on screening then rapid and appropriate investigations are available within The London Breast Clinic.