Most women will be invited to have regular breast screening between the ages of 50 and 70. You should receive a reminder from your doctor when it is time for your breast screening, but it is up to you to make the appointment and visit the clinic. It is very important to make the time for this screening appointment, which shouldn’t take much longer than your usual visit to a doctor.
Routine screening involves a mammogram, which uses X-rays to look for signs of any small lumps in your breasts. However, your doctor can also conduct a physical examination if you have found something unusual while examining your own breasts, and you can also get personalised advice on genetic testing and other options if there is a history of breast cancer in your family.
Looking After Your Breasts
As well as attending your private breast screening appointments when you get a reminder, you should make sure that you are making time to check your own breasts regularly for any unusual changes. Although screening can help to identify many cases of breast cancer, many women actually detect the first signs for themselves. You should examine your breasts at least once a month so that you will be able to spot any changes as soon as they appear.
Breast cancer doesn’t always show itself as a lump, although you should see your doctor if you feel an unusual growth. Other signs you should be looking out for include pain, changes to your nipples, and differences in the texture of your skin. If you spot something that doesn’t look or feel normal for your breasts, you should ask your doctor about it. Hopefully, it will be nothing to worry about, but if you do have breast cancer it is important that you get treatment as soon as possible.