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Breast cancer screening

Introduction

About one in seven women in the UK are diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime. There’s a good chance of recovery if it’s detected in its early stages.

Breast screening aims to find breast cancers early. It uses an X-ray test called a mammogram that can spot cancers when they are too small to see or feel.

For more information on breast screening visit the NHS pages.

As the risk of developing breast cancer increases with age, all women who are aged 50-71 and registered with a GP are automatically invited for breast cancer screening every three years. You will first be invited for screening between your 50th and 53rd birthday. If you are over 70 you will not be automatically invited for screening, however you can still have breast screening if you want and will need to contact the Breast Screening Service to book an appointment. For more information on breast cancer screening locally.

Be Breast Aware

It is important to check your breast regularly, so you know how they usually look and feel. This way you can spot any changes that are not normal for you.

Breast changes to look out for:

  • A lump in the breast, or in the armpit
  • Changes in the appearance of the skin (orange peel appearance)
  • Discharge or bleeding from the nipple
  • An area of ‘pinched’ skin
  • A breast may appear bigger than the other one where this was not the case before
  • Your nipple might become inverted, and this is not normal for you
  • Red or hot area.
  • Thickened area, or growing vein

If you notice any of the above changes, don’t wait to be offered screening – see your GP.

If you are worried about any breast changes please contact your GP.

More information about breast screening and breast cancer can be found at Cancer Research UK and Breast Cancer Now

More information on Dudley Breast Screening service can be found on the West Midlands Breast Screening website