Breast Screening

Breast Screening Saves 1,400 Lives a Year

In 2008 marked the 20th anniversary of the NHS Breast Cancer Screening Program which was the first of its kind in the world. It was initiated sending invitations to women for screening in 1988 and further it prevailed at national level by the mid-1990’s.

Around one and a half million women are now screened in the UK each year and, with the expected number of women in this age band expected to increase by 20% between 2005 and 2025, the demand for the service will continue to stretch the NHS.

How Often Should You Have a Mammogram?

From the age of 50 or above, the NHS invites every woman for a mammogram every 3 years until the age of 70. After this age women are not routinely invited but are encouraged to request once in every 3 years.

If you feel you are at high risk of breast cancer, or have any family history, you may get better advice regarding monitoring after the examination procedure.

It Demands Your Attention:

Most recent figures show that 75.4% of women been invited for screening in 2006 attended the session whereas rest of them were reluctant. It means that 1 in 4 women are not availing this chance if it’s still going with the same percentage. Most mutual reasons given for ignoring the screening are fear, carelessness or lack of time. It’s not merely a session but an important step towards your breast awareness routine, so take a step.

For more information : Population Screening Programmes
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Breast screening is about feeling empowered to be more aware of any changes in your breasts by simply looking and feeling. There is no set way to do this.  It just depends how you feel comfortable, in the bath or shower or when dressing, when standing or lying down. This should be part of your everyday routine and not done at any set point of the month or a specific number of times.

If you know how your breasts look and feel at different times, you’ll understand what is normal for you and it would become easy for you to recognize.

There is no such thing as ‘standard’ breasts. What is normal for one woman may not be for another? You will even find that your own two breasts are different from each other. Your breasts may also look and feel different at different stages of your menstrual cycle, some breasts feel tender or lumpy.

Checking your breasts is not only about looking for any abnormal lumps but there are other important changes that you should be aware of too. These include:

  • A change in the size or shape of your breast.
  • A change in the skin – particularly dimpling or puckering.
  • A change in the appearance of the nipple or a discharge from the nipple.
  • Breast pain that does not go away after a period.
  • Lumpy areas or thickening of the breast.
  • If you notice any of these changes must ask your doctor about them as soon as possible. They will probably be harmless but your doctor will be able to reassure you.​
  • Most of the time you find a lump or any other change it is not serious and can be easily treated if needed. If it should turn out to be cancer then there is a very good chance of successful treatment.
  • Early breast screening further enhances the chances of successful treatment. So to be aware of your breast health is very much important and it will sooth you too. There is not a set pattern for breast awareness routine but there are many avenues from where you can get information.

Research Article: