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Breast screening and your personal information

Breast screening register


Breast screening register

BreastCheck has a register of women eligible for screening.

Your details should already be on the register if you’re a woman between 50 and 69.

This information is given to us by the Department of Social Protection.

If your name isn’t on the register, use this service to join the register. It usually takes about 5 minutes.

You can also check if your name is on the register or update your details (for example, your address).

Your personal information

We need to collect and store some of your personal information to offer you screening. This information includes your:

  • name
  • address
  • phone number
  • date of birth
  • PPS number
  • surname at birth
  • mother's maiden name
  • breast screening history

Your breast screening history can include:

  • your test results
  • breast clinic attendance
  • treatments you've had

We will ask for your consent to hold and use this information each time you have a breast screening test.

If you have had a mammogram as a private patient, we will not hold this information. We are also unable to access any information or results of tests you have had as a private patient.

How we use your information

We use your personal information to write to you. We will contact you when your next breast screening test is due or when your results are available.

We also share your information with other health services that provide follow-up care for screening.

This includes:

  • your GP surgery
  • the lab which checks your biopsy result, if needed
  • the hospital clinic where you receive treatment, if needed
  • National Cancer Registry Ireland, if needed

We do this to make sure we have an accurate record of your screening history.

Other ways we use information

We use your information to check that BreastCheck is:

  • helping to reduce the number of breast cancer deaths
  • performing in line with international best practice

We may also use your screening information in teaching and in reviews of our screening programme. This helps us to improve our screening programme.

We will never use your name in any reports or in reviews.

We keep your personal details and health records safe and confidential. This is part of our General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) obligations.

You have full access to your personal information and breast screening records. You can request these from us at any time.

Find out how to access your breast screening records

Breast density research study

The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) is carrying out a new research study around breast density. This is to learn more about the link between breast density and breast cancer in Ireland. We are working with RCSI on this research study.

The research will help RCSI to:

  • learn more about the link between changes in breast density and breast cancer in Ireland
  • see if it is useful to have information on breast density as part of our breast screening programme

This will help us to improve breast screening for women in the future.

Your screening mammogram may be used

Researchers will be using the screening mammograms of some women as part of this study.

They will look at mammograms of women who were diagnosed with breast cancer through BreastCheck. They will then compare these with mammograms of women who were not diagnosed with cancer.

Your breast screening information may be used if you had breast screening between April 2008 and December 2017.

This research is not a clinical review of mammograms. It will not look for signs of cancer.

Your information will be anonymous. No one will ever be able to identify you in the results of this research.

You do not need to give consent

RCSI researchers have permission to use your screening mammograms without getting your informed consent directly.

This is because:

  • it is a large study and involves the information of thousands of women over a period of 10 years
  • the public interest in the study outweighs the need to ask every woman to consent

This approach has been approved by:

If you do not want us to use your information

You can opt out of this research study if you do not want us to use your information.

You need to contact us before 14 July 2022.

To opt out, send your name and contact details to:

research@breastcheck.ie

Put in the subject line: OPT OUT: Breast Density Research

You can also write to us at:

OPT OUT: Breast Density Research,
National Screening Service,
King’s Inns House,
200 Parnell Street,
Dublin 1,
D01 A3Y8

If you are writing on behalf of a relative, include their name and contact details.

We will not use the data of any person who opts out of the study.

Your rights under data protection law

Any research or study using your information does not affect your rights under data protection law.

Read more about your data protection rights and HSE data protection policy

The HSE Data Protection Officer (DPO) can be contacted directly at dpo@hse.ie or by phoning 01-6350 359.

Contact your local Data Protection Officer

Opting-out of the screening programme

You can opt out of the screening programme at any time by calling freephone 1800 45 45 55.

If you change your mind at a later date you can simply ring again and ask to be put back on the list.

page last reviewed: 15/05/2019
next review due: 15/05/2022