Screening

Breast cancer is the most common cancer amongst Guernsey women, affecting one in twelve at some time in their life. As yet, the cause of breast cancer has not been identified. However breast screening can help to find early changes before signs or symptoms of cancer have been noticed. Mammography is the most reliablemethod of detecting breast cancers which are too small to feel. If breast cancer can be detected at the earliest possible stage, less treatment will be required and the likelihood of a successful recovery will be more favourable.

Please note that the information on this page can be found in the “Breast Screening Programme” leaflet, copies of which are available from the Breast Unit. The leaflet is reproduced here by permission of the Health and Social Services Department of the Guernsey Government.

ABOUT BREAST CANCER

Breast cancer is the most common cancer amongst Guernsey women, affecting one in twelve at some time in their life. As yet, the cause of breast cancer has not been identified. However breast screening can help to find early changes before signs or symptoms of cancer have been noticed. Mammography is the most reliablemethod of detecting breast cancers which are too small to feel. If breast cancer can be detected at the earliest possible stage, less treatment will be required and the likelihood of a successful recovery will be more favourable.

ABOUT BREAST SCREENING

The Unit was established by the Board of Health in 1995 and is situated at the Princess Elizabeth Hospital. As breast cancer is most common amongst women over 50, a free and confidential screening programme aimed at all women aged between 50 and 75 who are normally resident in Guernsey and Alderney is now offered.

ABOUT THE INVITATION

You have been sent this invitation to register with the screening programme. After your initial visit you will be automatically recalled every two years, until you are 75 years. Breast screening is still available after this age on request.

ABOUT WHAT HAPPENS

A radiographer will explain what will happen, ask you some questions and answer any you may have. The breast is compressed slightly while two X-rays are taken of each breast. This can be uncomfortable, however any discomfort should

last only a few minutes. The radiation dose used during mammography is extremely small, any risk involved being greatly outweighed by the benefits of screening. When you have had your mammography, you will be told when to expect your results and given a leaflet entitled WHAT HAPPENS NEXT.

Your mammogram is processed in the department then sent by courier off-island where it will be carefully examined by two Radiologists (X-ray doctors), who look for breast changes which require further investigation.

ABOUT THE RESULTS

You and your Doctor will be informed of the results of your screening within two weeks. Most women will receive a normal result and then be recalled automatically in two years time.

ASSESSMENT CLINIC

Some women will be recalled because the appearance of the X-ray has suggested further investigations are needed. They are then seen by the breast care team for further tests as necessary. Most women who are recalled do not have breast cancer, are reassured and recalled in two years.

If you are recalled and found to need further treatment, you will be cared for by the breast care team who will work with you to ensure that you receive the best care and treatment at all times.

ABOUT BREAST AWARENESS

Mammography is the best way we have at present of detecting abnormalities. However no test is perfect and it is important to check your breasts regularly between screening.

BREAST AWARENESS FIVE POINT CODE

  • Know what is normal for you
  • Look and feel
  • Know what changes to look for
  • Report any changes without delay
  • Attend for breast screening if aged 50 or over

YOUR INVITATION TO ATTEND

We hope you will accept our invitation and attend for a screening mammogram. It only takes 15 minutes to help protect your health.

To register for your appointment please complete the attached form and return it in an envelope to the FREEPOST address (no stamp required).

We would be pleased to address any concerns, answer any questions or provide more detailed information and can be contacted on 01481 724816.

Guernsey Breast Screening

Princess Elizabeth Hospital,

St Martins,

Guernsey.

GY4 6UU

Publication Date July, 2002

Review Date      July, 2004



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