Your mammogram will be checked by 2 consultant radiologists (breast x-ray specialists). They will check for any suspicion of cancer.
Radiologists look for any signs of abnormality, including:
- asymmetries something on one breast and not on the other breast
- clusters of small spots on the mammogram (micro calcifications)
But most of the time, a radiologist can't say for sure whether it's cancer or it's not cancer, based on a mammogram alone. This is because both cancerous and non-cancerous growths can look the same. That's why, for many women, a mammogram is the first in a series of tests that will help reveal a bigger picture.
You'll get a letter with your breast screening results within 3 weeks after your mammogram has taken place. The results will also be sent to your GP.
If you have any questions about your results, contact your local screening service. The contact details are in your invitation letter.
There are 2 types of results you can get: normal, or an invitation for further assessment.
Your letter says your results are normal. Most women get this result.
You’ll be invited to another screening in 2 years. But, you should continue to be aware of changes in your breasts.
If you have any symptoms in between screening appointments, talk to your GP. Do not wait for your next screening test
About 1 in 25 women screened needs further tests.
If you're called back for more tests, you may have an additional mammogram, an ultrasound or a breast examination.
You may also have a biopsy. This is when a small sample is taken from your breast with a needle to be checked under a microscope.
Most of these assessments reveal no cancer.
Results of further assessment
Most women are given a normal result after further testing. In this case, you’ll be invited for a routine screening in 2 years’ time.
If a biopsy is done, your nurse or surgeon will arrange for a follow-up appointment. Usually, this will happen a week later.
If cancer is found, we will invite you back to the BreastCheck clinic. You will meet with your breast care nurse and your consultant surgeon.
They will discuss your treatment options with you. They are part of a multi-disciplinary team. This team work together to provide the best treatment and care.
We will communicate with you in an open, honest, timely and transparent manner if:
- something goes wrong with your care
- you experience harm as a result of your care
- we think that harm may have occurred
This means that we will keep you fully informed of the facts and details related to your participation in the breast screening programme.
The main treatments for breast cancer are:
- hormone therapy
You may have one of these treatments or a combination. The type or combination of treatments you have will depend on how the cancer was diagnosed and the stage it's at.
- About your re-call for assessment (PDF, 751KB)
- Going for breast surgery and general anaesthetic (PDF, 653KB)
- Information about breast localisation and surgery (PDF, 662KB)
- Information about core biopsy and fine needle aspiration (PDF, 608KB)
Information on cancer
The Irish Cancer Society and the Marie Keating Foundation have information for people affected by cancer.