Breast screening

Photo: Breast screening mobile unit
COVID-19 – Service updates

Coronavirus has had a major impact on the NHS, including breast screening services. To help protect patients from the virus and to respond to the pandemic, we decided to reschedule breast screening appointments, which would have been performed from March 2020 onwards.

We recommenced screening at the end of June 2020 and have been inviting those who have been waiting the longest first. We will carry on in this way until we have caught up.

Due to the new coronavirus precautions we cannot see as many women per day as we did previously, meaning every appointment is even more valuable. If you cannot attend your appointment or need to delay it please let us know as soon as possible so that we can offer the time to someone else.

This of course means that there is a delay for routine screening appointments and you may be offered screening later than you were expecting. This has been the effect on all national breast screening services.

In an effort to make best use of appointment slots there has been a nationwide change to the way breast screening appointments are offered. Previously you would have received a booked appointment, which you could contact us to change if necessary.

On the 30th September 2020 we switched to an ‘open invite’ system whereby all women who are to be invited are sent a letter to say they are due for screening and requesting them to contact our office to book an appointment.

It is hoped this will mean less wasted appointments due to non-attendance.

Breast Screening
New bookings tel: 01803 654152
Change booking tel: 01803 655350
Email: Breast Screening

Breast screening uses a breast x-ray, called a mammogram, to look for cancer that may be too small to see or feel.

The sooner breast cancer is diagnosed, the more effective treatment is likely to be. Screening can pick up breast cancer before there are any signs or symptoms.

If you are registered at your GP as a female and aged between 50 and 70 and 11 months, you’ll be automatically invited for breast screening through your GP practice every three years. If you are not registered with a GP Practice and would like advice about receiving breast screening please contact us on 01803 655350 or email Breast Screening.

For information about screening for trans and non-binary people please visit GOV.UK – information for trans and non-binary people

You will normally be invited for your first mammogram between your 50th and 53rd birthdays. If you would like to know when you will be invited please feel free to contact us.

Some trans or non-binary people can access breast screening. You need to be registered as female with your GP to be automatically invited for screening. Talk to your GP or gender identity clinic for more information.

If you are over 71 you will no longer be routinely invited for breast screening but you are entitled to refer yourself every three years by contacting the breast screening programme on 01803 655350 or email Breast Screening.

Having screening mammograms does not in itself prevent cancer but does seek to find cancers at an early and more easily treatable stage, when they are too small to see or feel.

It is possible to develop breast cancer in between the 3-yearly screening mammograms and it is important to continue to be breast aware and report any changes to your GP even if you have had a mammogram recently.

If you have any concerns about unusual changes to your breasts, please speak with your GP as soon as possible. They will be able to refer you to a one-stop clinic if necessary.

If you would like to read our information leaflet about breast screening it is available online at:

At the mobile unit we offer appointments between 8.45am and 4.25pm on weekdays. In our main unit at the hospital we offer appointments between 8.50am and 4.30pm on weekdays, however please note that these clinics may not be every weekday.

Before attending your breast screening appointment please do not use a spray deodorant or talcum powder as this may show up on your mammogram. You can use roll-on deodorant.

We have parking available outside the Breast Care Unit, which is specifically allocated to us. These spaces are free of charge and include provision for disabled parking.

Mobile Breast Screening Unit

Our Mobile Unit is currently in the DFS car park, The Willows, Browns Bridge Road, Torquay, TQ2 7HT. It will be remaining in Torquay until early 2023, after which it will be moving to the Newton Abbot area.

Do The Test – Go For It!

Some people have difficulty deciding whether to come for breast screening. Here is a video made by and for women with learning disabilities. Whether you live with a learning disability or not, the information can be helpful for making your decision.

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