Breast Centre - Frequently asked questions

How accurate is breast screening?

Mammograms are the most efficient way of detecting breast cancer early, but like other screening tests, they're not perfect.

Some cancers are very difficult to see, and even experienced specialists can occasionally miss something, so all the mammograms are always checked by two specialists.

Some cancers cannot be seen at all on a mammogram.

What happens if I have not accepted previous invitations, can I still come?

Yes, we would like you to come even if you have not been before.

What happens if I have had mammograms elsewhere?

You may still come, as long as it was more than six months ago.

If it was more recent, please contact us.

What if I have a disability?

Please contact us, even if you have been in the past.

Our mobile screening units may not be accessible, but we will try to arrange a reasonable alternative.

I have implants, can I still go for screening?


Have you ever used PiP breast implants?


If you have any concerns about these, please see the Department of Health website > Advice on PiP implants (

What if I need someone with me?

There isn't much space in the mobile units, so please contact us for more information before your appointment.

What if I need an interpreter?

We can arrange the help of an interpreter.

Please let us know at least a week before you come so we can arrange this.

What if I would like to know about the radiation dose?

Mammography involves a tiny dose of radiation but the risk to your health from this is very small.

If you're worried about the examination or have any questions, please ask the radiographer.

What does the Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) do?

We offer support, advice and guidance to patients who have breast disease, including pre-cancer and cancer of the breast.

What can the Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) offer me?

It's normal to experience a wide range of emotions when cancer is diagnosed.

The CNS is available from your diagnosis onwards to discuss your diagnosis, care and treatment.

They can:

  • Offer emotional support in dealing with your diagnosis
  • Offer advice and support for you, your relatives, carer and friends
  • Provide information about your diagnosis, investigations and treatments including surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy
  • Provide a link with the doctors and other health care professionals and refer as appropriate

How can I contact a Breast Care Nurse?

Please see Breast Centre> Contact.

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