Breast care

About one in eight women in the UK are diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime. There's a good chance of recovery if it's detected in its early stages.
 
We aim to find signs of breast cancer early through our breast screening and symptomatic care clinics. These clinics care available to both women and men on referral from a GP. If you are worried about breast cancer symptoms, such as a lump or area of thickened tissue in a breast, see your GP.
 
Your GP will refer you to the Hospital for more tests if necessary. This may include x-rays, ultrasound or biopsy tests to find out more information.

The unit uses the latest technology to detect breast cancer as early as possible and to provide a quality service to all patients who attend. We have two mammography rooms — one is especially suited for disabled patients in a wheelchair. Our specialist mammographers are fully trained in using the equipment and making the patients visit as comfortable as possible.

The type of imaging used by the breast screening and imaging department:

  • Mammography - a special x-ray picture of the breast

  • Ultrasound - an ultrasound scan which is a painless test, that uses sound waves to create images of organs and structures inside your body, in this case, the breast

  • Biopsy - a biopsy in which a small sample of tissue is removed from the breast, under local anaesthetic. The sample of tissue is then examined by our pathologists to look for abnormal cells (malignant or benign)

Breast Screening Programme

The National Screening Programme calls women for mammography between the ages of 50 and 71 every three years.  Women will receive an invitation to attend screening as long as they are registered with a GP.

Screening invitations

Eligible women, aged from 50 to their 71st birthday, receive an invitation letter explaining:

  • the programme
  • the benefits and risks of breast screening

Women do not always receive an invitation when they turn 50.  They can expect their invitation within 3 years of their 50th birthday. 

Women cannot walk in and request breast screening unless they are 71 or over when they can request screening every 3 years. 

Age extension

In some areas, women aged 47 to 49 and 71 to 73 receive invitations for screening.  This is part of a study looking at whether to extend the breast screening age range.

Breast Screening for Medway and North West Kent is run by the Medway Breast Screening Service on 01634 825036 met-tr.medwaybreastscreening@nhs.net

Screening mainly operates from mobile screening units at Gravesend, Dartford, Swanley, Medway Towns, Sittingbourne and Sheerness.  The mobile units are in each area for approximately six to nine months.  Screening is also carried out at the Breast Screening Unit at Medway Hospital. 

If any further assessment is required you will be invited to attend the Breast Screening Unit at Medway Hospital; here furthers x-rays, ultrasound and sometimes a biopsy may be performed. 

More information regarding breast screening can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/topic/population-screening-programmes/breast

 

Find us

Breast Care Unit
Red zone
Level 2