The Bolton, Bury and Rochdale Breast Screening Service is part of the NHS Breast Screening Programme (link to external site) which began in 1988. It provides breast screening for women aged 50 – 71 years once every three years in the areas covered by the Bolton, Bury, and Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale Clinical Commissioning Groups.
Why we screen
One in nine women will develop breast cancer at some time in their life. 80% of breast cancers occur in women over 50. The risk of breast cancer rises as women get older. This is why the breast screening programme targets women in this age group.
The aim of breast screening is to detect breast cancer at an earlier stage, before there are any symptoms. To do this, an X-ray (mammogram) is taken of each breast. Early detection may mean simpler and more successful treatment. Scientific evidence shows that regular breast screening, between the ages of 50 – 71 years, reduces the death rate from breast cancer.
The National Breast Screening Programme is a population screening programme for well women and is not aimed at women who already have symptoms. If you have a breast symptom or are concerned about your breasts, you should contact your GP practice without delay. A mammogram will pick up most, but not all, breast problems and is one of a range of tests that may be required for women with breast symptoms.
If you would like more information about breast symptoms you may find it helpful to visit the Breast Cancer Care website.