At Midland Health, you can have a private consultation at our Birmingham clinic and with the support of our friendly team, you will receive expert advice throughout the whole process. We can provide a mammogram scan referral to a one-stop breast clinic at one of our partner hospitals.
What is a mammogram (mammography)?
A mammogram scans the breast and surrounding tissues for any changes or potential growths. It is the best way to detect small cancers as early as possible, so they can be effectively treated. The test uses X-rays that are able to find cancers that would be otherwise impossible to feel.
Breast cancer is a malignant tumour that is composed of a group of cancer cells which are able to infect the surrounding tissue and further spread to other parts of the body. As one of the most common types of cancer, breast cancer affects eight in ten women and around 12,000 women in the UK die of the disease every year.
What are the factors that increase the risk of having breast cancer?
Age is the primary factor that contributes to the development of cancer. This is why most of the women aged over 50 have breast cancer. Another contributing factor is the genetic mutations which are present in family groups. Some other causes that could cause breast cancer are linked to your lifestyle: being overweight, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol and smoking can have an impact.
Who is suitable for a screening test?
The test is recommended as routine for all women over the age of 40, who haven’t had breast symptoms or a mammogram in the last 12 months. The NHS Breast Screening Programme invites all women aged between 50 and 70 for screening every 3 years.
How is the mammogram performed?
The first step is to have a formal consultation with one of our healthcare professionals. Together, we will discuss your medical history, any symptoms and concerns that you might be having. During this time, we will be able to advise you to take any further tests, such as scans or blood tests if they are needed. Information regarding the price will be discussed before undergoing any tests or scans.
Having a mammogram can be something that women worry about. At Midland Health, we make sure that the process will go as smoothly as possible and we’ll be there for you throughout the whole time of the test.
The radiographer will help you position yourself in the x-ray machine and will guide you through the whole process. Our doctors will be able to determine the best course of action as outlined by Breast Imaging Reporting and Database system. Within the system’s parameters, the lumps are categorised from zero to six and each category has a specified treatment. For example, you might need more tests, such as imagery, biopsies or simple screenings. We will make sure that you will get full support and expert advice regardless of the outcome. The duration of our private mammogram scan will depend on the results but it usually takes from 15 to 30 minutes.
How should I interpret the results?
As an average, 96% of the women will receive normal results. However, you might need further tests in order to receive a definite answer. The rest of the 4% of the women will have to undergo further tests. There are cases when the mammogram test will have to be repeated due to technical reasons. This usually happens when you are not standing in the correct position or you might have accidentally moved when the picture was taken.
You should also be aware that a mammogram is not a perfect device and sometimes it can be quite hard to diagnose breast cancer. This is why you might be asked to take further tests before the doctor can arrive at a result. After completing the series of tests you will then be given a clear diagnosis. This is quite normal and it is often referred to as a false positive result which can be a source of massive worry. Every 4 woman in 100 will be asked to take further tests in order to be given a normal answer. And only one of those women will be diagnosed with cancer. The remaining women will have a normal diagnose and they will be asked to attend regular screening tests when their appointment is due. You could also get a false negative when a small cancer is really there. When this happens, you should see your GP again in case you notice a change in your breast.
When is the right time to have a screening test?
Mammographies can’t prevent breast cancer but they are a way to detect them in time which further means that you are going to be less likely to need a mastectomy and your chances of survival increase as well. Good news is that research has proven that surviving breast cancer is more possible nowadays with 3 out of 4 women diagnosed living at least 10 years.
Why you might need a breast cancer test?
The charity Breast Cancer Care showed that cancer affects one in eight women in the UK and 81% of the cases are occurring in women who are aged over 50.
Having a mammogram done is a safe way to detect breast cancer from an early stage. Younger women are also invited to have one in case they have found a suspicious lump in their breast or if they know that breast cancer runs in the family. At Midland Health, we will make sure that you will be supported throughout the whole procedure by our experienced team.
With Midland Health, you can sit and discuss your health history, potential risks and full breast examination with a friendly GP who will make you feel comfortable by talking you through the screening process as well as the results. Having a private mammogram done at our clinic in Birmingham will ease your worries and together we can tackle any issues.
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