Your mammogram will be reviewed by two specialists and the results sent to you within two to three weeks.

Your GP will also be notified of your results.

There are three possible results:

  • Normal
    Your X-rays have shown no signs of cancer and you will be invited again in three years' time for your next routine screen.
    If you will be over 73 by then, please contact us for an appointment nearer the time.
  • Technical Repeat
    The mammogram needs to be repeated for technical reasons only.
    The quality of the X-ray does not allow for all the breast tissue to be seen clearly.
    Approximately three out of every 100 women screened will be called back for a technical repeat to obtain a good quality mammogram.
  • Assessment
    Sometimes the mammograms do not give enough information and a further examination is needed before we can decide on a result.
    If this is the case you will receive an appointment to attend our assessment clinic here at the Great Western Hospital.
    This additional appointment is part of routine screening and for most women invited back, nothing of concern will be found.
    Approximately five out of every 100 women who have breast screening will be asked to come back to our clinic for a further examination.
    Four of these five women will eventually be found to have a normal result.   

Further tests

You may be called back for a second screening appointment, either for a technical reason or for further assessment.

This may be arranged by letter or by telephone.

For the majority of women called back for assessment, we find nothing more serious than an innocent breast condition.

We call back about one in every 20 women because the mammogram appearance suggests that more tests are needed.

These tests usually include further mammograms, an ultrasound examination and possibly a biopsy.

For more information, please see Breast screening: Further tests: FAQ.

Ultrasound scan

This is performed by the doctor/specialist practitioner in the examination room.

It is usually painless and usually takes only a few minutes to do.

Gel is placed on to the breast and the ultrasound probe is moved over the surface of the breast to look at the tissue beneath.


If an abnormal area is found a tissue sample may be taken.

This can be a fine needle aspiration (FNA) or core biopsy and can usually be done at the time of your appointment.

Getting the result of the assessment

We will be able to give most patients the result of any further assessment on the day of their appointment.

Those needing a core biopsy or FNA may have to wait approximately seven days.

You will be given an appointment to return to the department to receive these.

The appointment

Your appointment could take up to three hours so that we can carry out all the necessary tests.

It may be helpful for you to wear a top that is easy to take off and put on.

Please avoid using talc or deodorant.

Bringing someone with you

You may like to bring a partner, friend or relative with you for company or support and they are most welcome.

If possible try not to bring small children with you; and if necessary please make arrangements for school children to be collected.