The National Breast Screening Programme was introduced in 1988 as an early detection service for breast cancer. It states that all women who are aged between 50 – 70 years of age will be routinely invited for free breast screening every three years. The programme is very successful and currently saves around 1,400 lives per year.
Breast screening aims to find breast cancer at an early stage, often before there are any symptoms. To do this, an x-ray is taken of each breast (mammogram). Early detection may often mean simpler and more successful treatment. When women are invited for their mammogram depends on which GP they are registered with, not when their birthday is.
The screening office runs a rolling programme which invites women by area. The requirement is that all women will receive their first invitation before their 53rd birthday, but ideally when they are 50. If you are under 50 and concerned about any aspect of breast care, please contact the surgery to make an appointment to be referred by your GP.