Breast Screening

Action Cancer is the only charity in the UK and Ireland to offer breast screening to women aged 40 – 49 and 70 plus who fall outside the NHS age range (50 – 70). We have been screening women in Northern Ireland for breast cancer since 1978, ten years ahead of the NHS.

What is breast screening?  

Breast screening is an X-ray of the breast. It’s carried out in women who have no symptoms with the aim to reduce deaths from breast cancer through early detection of the disease. If any early warning signs are present, women are referred for further assessment.

What does having a mammogram involve?

A mammogram is an X-Ray of the breast. In breast screening, 4 X-Rays are taken (2 of each breast) and a radiographer will position you in the mammography machine to get the best images possible.

In order to obtain high quality images, compression of the breast is essential. Some women may worry that having a mammogram may be painful, however most women would describe the procedure as uncomfortable, rather than painful.

To see what exactly happens during an appointment, view our breast screening video below:


Going digital

Digital mammography is a different way of acquiring the X-ray image of the breast and allows an improved image quality and better magnification to help with accurate detection. Digital mammography uses a lower dosage of radiation to acquire the image and is also better able to visualise the dense breast tissue prevalent in younger women.

In 2006 Action Cancer was the first organisation to use full field digital X-ray machines in Northern Ireland. This equipment was further upgraded in 2010.

Click here to our breast awareness and screening Z-card.

You can book a breast screening appointment online or by calling 028 9080 3344.