The Breast Centre

The Breast Centre provides routine breast screening to all women aged 50-70 who are registered with a GP in the area.

We are also part of the age expansion trial - offering some appointments to women aged 47-74.

We also run a symptomatic service for women and men who are referred by their GP.


  • Great Western Hospital - ground floor (please see Floor plans)
  • Two mobile units travel to various sites in Wiltshire

What to expect


A mammogram is a special X-ray taken while compressing the breast gently but firmly in the X-ray machine (compression is necessary to keep the breast still, and to get the clearest picture with the lowest amount of radiation).

A mammogram can detect small changes in breast tissue which may indicate cancers which are too small to be felt either by the patient herself or by a doctor.

The examination is performed by a female radiographer, or in some breast screening services, a female assistant practitioner. 

Mammograms are read by a radiologist specialising in breast imaging or by a film-reading radiographer.

All films are read by two people.

The programme aims to issue results within two weeks.

If any abnormalities are detected, patients will be asked to come back for further tests and assessments.

Mammography is not 100% accurate - approximately 7% of breast cancers are not visible on X-rays - so it's important that you continue to Be Breast Aware.


If you are aged 50-70 years and are registered with a GP in the area, then you will automatically be sent an appointment when your practice is being screened.

Not every woman will be invited as soon as she is 50, but you should receive your first appointment before your 53rd birthday, so there is no need to contact us for an appointment.

Some women aged 47-74 will be offered an appointment as part of a randomised age extension trial.

Women over the age of 70 are encouraged to continue with breast screening but must contact our screening office themselves.

If you are under 50, you cannot make a routine screening appointment with us, but if you have any symptoms or concerns with your breast you should immediately contact your GP, who can then refer you to an appropriate clinic.

Symptomatic clinic

If you have any symptoms or are worried about your breasts in any way, please immediately contact your GP and they may be able to reassure you.

They may feel that it is necessary to refer you to our breast clinic for some tests and a consultation.

At the clinic, you will see the consultant, who will take your history and discuss your concerns with you.

You will be given a breast examination and, if necessary, an ultrasound and mammogram.

It may be possible to give a diagnosis at this appointment, but if a needle test (biopsy) is required then you will be given another appointment to return to the department for the results.

Please see Your results.


Breast Centre

The Breast Centre
Great Western Hospital
Marlborough Road

Tel: 01793 604036
Fax: 01793 604240

Breast care nurses

Tel: 01793 604340

Further information

Please see Frequently asked questions.

Lots of other information and support is also available - please see Useful links and information.

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