What is breast screening?
Breast Screening (Mammography) is an x-ray examination of the breasts and is a method of finding breast cancer at a very early stage.
At your screening appointment a female mammographer will explain breast screening to you and ask you a few questions. She will then take the x-ray by compressing your breasts, one at a time between two special x-ray plates. The compression only lasts a few seconds and there is no evidence this harms the breast. Compression is needed to keep the breast still, in order to get the clearest picture with the lowest amount of radiation.
Some women find mammography uncomfortable and some find it painful as the breasts have to be held firmly in position and pressed to take a good x-ray. If you do experience pain it usually only lasts as long as the mammogram although it may continue for some time in a small number of women.
Please do not use talcum powder or spray-on deodorant on the day you go for breast screening as this may affect the quality of your mammogram.