Breast Cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in the UK. It is important that cancers are detected early. The earlier the diagnosis, the better the outcome. Breast screening can help us to see small changes in the breast ,which can be too small to be felt by you or your GP.
Why have I received a letter?
At North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust we work under the guidance of the National Breast Screening Programme and offer a well woman service to all eligible women who are aged between 50 and 71.
If you are in this age range you will be routinely invited for a mammogram – which is an x-ray of your breast tissue. You will be invited every three-years at a location which is convenient and close to where you live. No need to contact us as your invitation will arrive through the post.
You will usually be screened on one of our mobile units, at GP surgeries or within hospital grounds. We also have a number of static screening departments throughout the region.
Not all sites will run at the same time, but everywhere will offer a three-yearly mammogram. You will be offered an appointment at the closest distance to you. Or you can choose to book an appointment at an available site to fit your schedule.
It is important to know that even when you are beyond the age of 71 you can still book and attend for a mammogram. Women wishing to book an appointment should contact our admin team on the number below. They will be happy to help you.
If you are invited to one of our assessment clinics, you will receive a text reminder prior to this appointment.
Contact to change your appointment
Get in touch to change the time or date of your appointment.
Phone 01642 624261
Our Screening Locations
Our locations can be found on the breast screening locations page.
Please be aware that not all locations are available all the time. Locations vary over a three-year rotational period.
If you are worried or have concerns about any changes to your breasts, please see your GP immediately. Do not wait for your screening invitation.
Frequently asked questions
A full resource of our commonly asked questions can be found on our frequently asked questions page.
What is a mammogram?
This is essentially an x-ray of your breasts. Usually four images are taken in total by a female radiographer or assistant practitioner. Your breasts are made up of glandular tissue and fatty tissue and sometimes it can be hard to detect an abnormality (especially if it is very small).
To help us see your breast tissue clearly, we have to compress your breast to spread your tissue out to help an image reader detect abnormalities. This might be slightly uncomfortable for a few seconds. However, it is very important for us to do this as it allows our image readers see any subtle changes.
What will happen at my appointment?
At your appointment our friendly staff will confirm basic identity checks with you, before showing you into a private changing cubicle. We will ask you to remove your top and bra. Use the wipes provided around your breast area and under your arms and remove any talc or deodorant. You will then cover up with your own top.
We advise ladies to come to their appointment in separate top and bottoms; please refrain from wearing a dress.
When your top is back on, wait for your name to be called. Once in the x-ray room you will be asked some questions such as “do you currently have any breast issues?”, “have you had any surgery to your breasts?” or “do you take HRT?”. The mammographer will talk you though the process and then when you are ready, the exam will begin.
Four x-rays are normally taken (two of each breast). To obtain the best possible images, we will explain the best position for you to be in. Once we are happy with the images, the examination is complete. We will direct you back into your changing cubicle where you are free to get dressed and leave. Your whole appointment should not take any more than 15 minutes.
Can I bring someone with me?
There is limited seating on our mobile vans. As such, we ask that you attend your appointment by yourself. However, if you have a carer, they are more than welcome to attend, but will not be able to be present in the x-ray room whilst your images are being taken.
We also do not allow gentlemen or children on the mobile unit.
I have mobility issues/struggles and will require a longer appointment. What should I do?
If you normally struggle with your mobility, use a wheelchair, or use walking aids, please contact us on 01642 624261 and we can arrange a more suitable appointment. We have dedicated clinics held at North Tees, where you will be given all the time and support you need.
Important note: If you are given an appointment at one of our mobile sites, it is really important that you contact us and let us know about your mobility requirements. The vans are not wheelchair accessible and have steep steps, so we will be able to rebook your appointment at a more suitable location.
I have learning difficulties or care for someone who needs additional support
Please contact our booking line on 01642 624261 and we can arrange for a longer appointment to be made for you. If necessary, you can also come and have a look around any site where you can have your mammogram and ask our friendly team any questions you might have.
You don’t have to attend your breast screening examination. However, if you choose not to come it is very important that you check for any changes or voice any concerns you have to your doctor.
There is a useful link below, which helps to explain the breast screening process.Easy guide to breast screening (gov.uk)
I have breast implants/loop recorder/hickman line etc. What should I do?
Please contact our booking line on 01642 624261 and we will update our records before your visit. The mammographer will perform the exam in a slightly different way which maintains the quality and standards of your results.
It is very important that you let us know if you have any breast implants as you will need a longer, more specialised appointment.
I recently had a mammogram. Should I still attend my appointment?
If you have had a mammogram within the last six months of your appointment date, please contact us on 01642 624261.
A mammogram uses a low dose of radiation. Due to regulations and national guidance, we would not recommend a well woman check within six months of your previous mammogram.
I speak limited English. How can you support me?
If you speak limited English and feel that you would benefit from extra support, we can arrange for an interpreter to attend your appointment with you. Just ring our booking line on 01642 624261.
How quickly will I get my results?
Your results will be posted out to your home address within 2-3 weeks of your appointment.
If you haven’t heard anything within four weeks of your appointment then please do not hesitate to ring our office. Your GP will also receive a copy of the results.
I have received my results. What do they mean?
You will receive one of three results letters.
Your results are clear and there has been no change since your last mammogram. There is nothing to arouse concern. You will be invited for another screening mammogram when you are next due – which is every three-years. During this period you should remain breast aware and report any concerns to your GP.
This is where one or more of the images needs to be repeated. This is usually due to slight movement during the mammogram, incorrect positioning or a machine malfunction. If this happens, you will be invited back to your closest mobile unit for extra imaging.
Recall to assessment clinic
If a consultant wants to look at something in your breast images in more detail, you will be recalled to an assessment clinic. This is not necessarily something to worry about. It may be something in your breast tissue that is perfectly normal for you, but we need to check to be sure.
If your assessment clinic appointment is at an inconvenient day or time please contact 01642 624264 to rearrange it.
More images may need to be obtained at your appointment and you will have a full examination by one of our consultants. Ultrasound of your breast and possible further tests may also be necessary.
There will be support available through the breast care nurses, who can answer any worries you have and be on hand to help with any queries. If you have any questions before you attend for your appointment, please contact the breast care nurse team on 01642 624371.