What we do
NHS breast screening checks use X-rays, called mammograms, to check for signs of cancer. These cancers may be too small to see or feel. It's done by female health specialists called mammographers.
About your appointment
During breast screening you'll have four breast X-rays (mammograms), two for each breast.
The mammograms only take a few minutes. The whole appointment should take about 30 minutes.
Before starting, the mammographer will check your details with you and ask if you have had any breast problems. They will also explain what will happen during the screening and answer any questions you have.
Breast screening is often uncomfortable and sometimes painful for some people. You can talk to the mammographer, who is trained to help you feel more comfortable and give you support. You can also ask to stop at any time.
Your results will be posted to you, usually within 2 weeks of your appointment.
Find out more about the NHS breast screening service on the NHS website.
Where we provide this service
In east Kent, breast screenings take place in the Stuart Field Mammography Unit at Kent and Canterbury Hospital.
How to use this service
Anyone registered with a GP as female will be invited for NHS breast screening every 3 years between the ages of 50 and 71. You'll get a letter in the post inviting you.
If you're a trans man, trans woman or are non-binary you may be invited automatically, or you may need to talk to your GP surgery or call the local breast screening service to ask for an appointment. Find out more about breast screening if you're trans or non-binary.
Why should you attend?
The vast majority of people referred to a breast clinic do not have cancer. They may have normal breast changes or a benign (not cancer) condition.
However, the sooner breast cancer is diagnosed, the more successful treatment is likely to be. So it’s important to go to your appointment so you can be fully assessed.
Breast Screening Patient Information Library
Breast Screening Service - NHS.uk
East Kent Unit for Breast Screening Charity (EKUBS)
GOV.UK - NHS breast screening programme