What to expect during a mammogram

Blog Health News 7th May 2024 Enquiries & appointments
Woman being talked through the process of having a mammogram.

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in women with approximately 56,000 cases a year in the UK. Early diagnosis and treatment is important to give you the best chance of recovery. A routine mammogram is a great way detect cancer early, especially for women over the age of 40.

What is a mammogram?

A mammogram is an X-ray for breasts that identifies changes in the breast tissue that may not be seen or felt. A mammogram only takes a few minutes and will be operated by a female Mammographer.

How do you prepare?

Before you have your mammogram, you will have a consultation that will go through any symptoms, medical history and any concerns you have. In this consultation you will be given further information on what to expect and how to prepare.

Avoid the use of deodorant, powders, lotions, creams, or perfumes under your arms, or on your breasts as this can affect the results of your mammogram.

What happens during your appointment?

During a mammogram, the breast is positioned between two flat plates on the machine, which lightly press together. There may be some discomfort but our Mammographers do their best to minimise this. X-rays images will be taken of the breast and sent to our expert Radiologists for review. They will develop a report with your results.

What are the next steps after a mammogram?

The next steps will be determined by which pathway you accessed your mammogram through, and your results.

If your mammogram was part of the one-stop Breast Clinic at KIMS Hospital or Sevenoaks Medical Centre, your consultant will discuss your results report as part of the same appointment. If necessary, a bespoke treatment plan will be made and explained to you. In some cases, further testing might be needed to gain a more detailed diagnosis.

If you were referred by your GP, your results will be sent back to your GP directly who will arrange an appropriate time to discuss your results report with you.

How to access a mammogram?

If you are over 18 years old and experiencing concerning symptoms in your breast such as pain, abnormalities or changes within the breast, you would be eligible to book an appointment at our one-stop Breast Clinic at KIMS Hospital or Sevenoaks Medical Centre. You may be offered an ultrasound in place of a mammogram if you are between the ages of 18-39, unless it is clinically justified.

If you are 40 years and over, do not currently have any symptoms and have not had a mammogram within the last 12 months, you can book a private mammogram at KIMS Hospital or Sevenoaks Medical Centre with a referral from your GP. Alternatively, you can see one of our private GPs who can refer you to our breast care team.

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Madeleine Greenhalgh Senior Marketing & Communications Manager 01622 237663