Mammography

Mammography uses X-rays to examine your breasts for early stage breast cancer.

What is a Mammography?

Mammography uses low-dose X-ray imaging to see inside your breasts. It examines your breasts for cancer and can detect cancer when it is small and before a lump can be felt. Mammography helps the early detection of breast cancer and other breast diseases when they are easiest to treat.

Mammography is used as both a screening and diagnostic tool.

  • Screening mammography - looks for signs of breast cancer in women who don’t have any breast symptoms or problems. Typically, two different angles of X-ray images are taken for each breast.
  • Diagnostic mammography - looks at a woman’s breast if she has breast symptoms or if a change has been detected on a screening mammogram. It may be used to screen women who have been treated for breast cancer. Extra images of the breast are often taken.

What is the difference between a mammogram and mammography?

A mammogram is an X-ray picture of your breast. It is produced during a mammography examination of your breast to help the early detection and diagnosis of breast diseases in women.

What age should a woman get a mammogram?

In England, women aged 50 to 71 are invited to an NHS breast screening every three years, and in some areas this programme is offered to women aged 47 to 73. Women who have an increased risk of developing breast cancer such as a family history of the disease or ovarian cancer may be offered screening at an earlier age and more frequently.

Breast cancer can occur at any age. We advise women aged 20 and above to become familiar with their breasts and to learn how to spot any unusual changes in them.

Mammograms are not often used in women under 40. Typically, young women have dense breast tissue and conventional mammography is less sensitive in this age group.

Digital mammography stores and allows the manipulation of high-quality breast images. It can reveal subtle abnormalities that are difficult to define using traditional mammography. MRI scans are sometimes used instead of mammograms as they are better at detecting cancer in dense breast tissue.

Here at Ramsay Health Care, we offer women from aged 40 the choice of an annual or regular interval mammogram if they wish. Many of our hospitals offer digital mammography and MRI scanning for younger women who would like and would benefit from a breast screening at an earlier age. You can discuss your breast screening options with one of our experienced doctors to decide when a mammogram is best for you.

What does a mammography test for?

A mammography uses low dose X-rays to examine your breast and test it for breast cancer. It can help identify breast cancer in its early stages by finding cancers that are too small to feel.

What is the cost of mammography?

The cost of mammography will depend on whether you would like diagnostic or screening mammography and your Ramsay hospital of choice.

You will receive a formal quotation price when booking your mammography with us. This formal quote for your mammography will be valid for 60 days.

Ramsay is recognised by all major medical insurers. Most medical insurance policies cover a screening mammography every one to two years for women aged 40 and above. For women under 40 years insurers may cover one test per year. Medical insurance cover for diagnostic mammography varies by provider. We advise you to check with your insurance provider and obtain their written authorisation before having your mammography.

Mammography at Ramsay Health Care

Here at Ramsay Health Care, we are pleased to offer women regular screening mammography for the early detection of breast cancer and other breast diseases. Women often come to us for screening mammography in between their three-yearly NHS breast screening for peace of mind or if they would like screening mammography before they reach 50 years of age. Others come to us for the convenience of choosing a preferred date and time and not having to wait for their mammography.

You can self-refer for a screening mammogram if you have no known symptoms and you have not had a mammogram within the last year.

You can access our symptomatic service for a diagnostic mammogram by GP and specialist referral.

Many of our hospitals offer a one-stop breast screening clinic that includes an appointment and physical examination with one of our expert breast consultants, mammography screening or digital mammography, as well as any further investigations that may be required. Our breast consultants can refer you for further treatment if required.

Our Ramsay hospitals offer excellent mammography facilities, expert and compassionate staff, and free parking. We apply strict protocols to all visitor areas to keep you safe during your visit to our hospitals.

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