Second stage breast screening

Breast screening assessment clinic - patient informationSome women may need further evaluation after their routine breast screening, and will be asked to attend for an assessment appointment at Princess Anne Hospital. Please allow at least an hour for this type of appointment.

When you arrive, the reason for your recall will be explained. At this second stage more tests are carried out. These may include a clinical examination, further mammograms and ultrasound. Fine-needle aspiration cytology may be carried out in which some breast cells or fluid are drawn off through a very fine needle for laboratory analysis. Another common technique used in the clinics is core biopsy, where a tiny sample of tissue can be taken and sent for analysis. This is always done with local anaesthetic.

The results of x-rays and ultrasound will be explained on the same day and you will have an opportunity to discuss them with one of our specialists. If samples are taken this will usually require a follow-up appointment in a week's time. You may wish to bring a friend or relative with you to discuss any results or information you receive.

The majority of women called for second stage screening do not have cancer. However, if breast cancer is detected early there is an excellent chance of making a full recovery.

About 95 per cent of women are reported as normal after the first mammogram and will be routinely invited for screening three years later. Of those recalled for second stage screening, only around one in eight will be found to have cancer.

Breast ultrasoundIf you need treatment

If you are diagnosed with breast cancer, an early diagnosis gives the best chance of successful treatment. We will refer you directly to our specialist surgical team, often during the same visit, and they will discuss and explain your diagnosis and treatment options with you. This is essential before making any decisions on treatment. Many women have a choice about the type of treatment they receive depending on the type and location of their cancer. Our team will arrange any treatment dates and provide information and support.