A Guide to Breast Screening: Information for Carers

What is Breast Screening?

Breast screening means taking an x-ray of the breasts, (known as a mammogram) to look for breast cancer. Going for regular screening means that any unhealthy changes will be found as early as possible. At this stage, breast cancer is easier to treat and a woman has a high chance of a good recovery.

What is BreastCheck?

BreastCheck is a free health service which offers breast screening to women aged 50-64 every two years. It is fully funded by the Government.

How Does BreastCheck Know Who is Eligible for Screening?

BreastCheck has a list of women eligible for screening from information supplied by Government services and health insurance companies. However, women in long-term residential care may be less likely than other women in the population to be on any of these lists. Therefore, it is important to check if there are any other women at the care home, eligible for screening, who have not been
invited by BreastCheck. These women can easily be registered for screening by phoning us at 1800 45 45 55.

What Happens at a Breast Screening Appointment?

The appointment takes approximately half an hour, though it may take longer for a woman with learning difficulties. Each woman has to undress from the waist up (cubicles are provided for privacy). Each breast is placed between two plates and pressure is applied to get the best possible x-ray image. It may feel slightly uncomfortable - like getting a blood pressure check.

When Will She Know her Result?

We will post the results within three weeks.

What if She is Called Back?

Please dont worry. Approximately 1 in 20 women who receive a BreastCheck mammogram are called back for further tests. The vast majority of these women are given normal results following the extra tests.

How Often Will a Woman be Screened by BreastCheck?

Each woman is invited back for screening approximately every two years until she reaches 65. Breast cancer can develop at any time. Therefore, even after being screened, each woman should herself be breast aware / or be checked regularly by her Doctor.

For more information on breast health, to speak to a specialist nurse, or for a free breast awareness pack call Action Breast Cancer on Freephone 1800 30 90 40.


Table of Contents

- Introduction

Information for Carers, Family, Friends and Medical Guardians of Care

- Information on BreastCheck
- Information on Attending Screening

The Screening Story

- Your Health
- Your Invitation From BreastCheck
- Your Screening
- Getting Your Result