Your appointment

A breast screen is done by taking an x-ray (mammogram) of your breasts at a BreastCheck clinic or mobile screening unit.

After your first mammogram, you will be offered an appointment every two years until age 69.

Non-urgent advice: Talk to your GP if:

  • you notice any symptoms or changes in your breasts between screening appointments

Do not wait until your next screening appointment.

Before your appointment

You’ll get a letter explaining the breast cancer screening service. We will invite you to join the BreastCheck programme. You don’t need to reply to the letter. 

We will send you an appointment letter within a month after you receive the first letter from us.

Your appointment will be at a breast screening unit in your local area.

The invitation will say where you need to go. Contact details will be on your invitation letter.

You should phone the screening unit before your appointment if you:

  • have any special requirements or a disability (we can talk about how to meet your needs) 
  • have breast implants - you will still be able to have a mammogram
  • had a mammogram recently
  • are breastfeeding or pregnant - you may need to delay screening

You will need to wear a face covering when you attend your screening unit.

Changing your appointment

Please call the breast screening unit if you need to arrange a new appointment. Try to give us 2 days notice if you can't come to your appointment. The phone number is on your invitation.

During your appointment

Your screening appointment should last about 30 minutes.

You will need to take your top off. It might be easier to wear a top with a skirt or trousers. All screening units will give you privacy to undress.

When you arrive, the radiographer will explain the procedure to you and ask a few simple questions.

On your first appointment, you will be asked to sign a consent form. You will need to wear a face covering throughout your appointment.

The radiographer will then place your breast onto the mammography machine and gently lower a clear plastic paddle onto your breast. This helps spread the breast tissue to allow a clear image to be taken. The radiographer will take 2 x-rays of each breast at different angles.

You may find it a little uncomfortable for a few seconds while your breast is being compressed.

During the x-ray, your breasts are exposed to a very small amount of radiation. This amount causes no significant risk to your health.


Read about the results of a mammogram

People who need additional support (Access Officer)

If you or someone you care for has a disability or needs additional support to take part in BreastCheck, we can help. Please call the number on your invitation letter or email to ask for additional support.

You can also email  or Freephone 1800 45 45 55 to speak to the access officer.

Breast screening access for women with additional needs

Page last reviewed: 14 May 2019
Next review due: 14 May 2022