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Wirral Breast Screening Programme

In January 2012 the Wirral Breast Screening Programme relocated to a newly refurbished unit at Clatterbrige Hospital. The Wirral Breast Screening Unit now consists of three digital mammography sets and two new ultrasound machines at Clatterbridge Hospital and one digital set at St Catherine’s Health Centre, which are connected to the hospital digital imaging system.

Breast screening was set up to detect breast cancer at an early stage. In September 2000 the first research was published which demonstrated that breast screening has lowered mortality rates from breast cancer in the 55-69 year old age group. It is estimated that the programme is on course to save 1,250 lives per year.

Visit the National Breast Screening Website for more information.

Opening Hours

Monday to Friday 08.30 to 17.00

 

Appointment Times

Clatterbridge:

Monday : 08:30 - 12:20 and 13:30 - 17:30

Tuesday: 13:30 - 17:30

Wednesday: 08:30 - 12:20 and 13:30 - 16:25

Thursday: 13:30 - 16:25

Friday: 13:30 - 16:25

St Catherines

Monday to Friday: 8:30 - 16:25

 

Call us on 0151 482 7661 to discuss your appointment.

Request to change your appointment online. 

Breast Awareness

Knowing what is normal for you is probably the most important. We tend to have very good intuition when something is not right with our body.

Look at yourself in the mirror for symmetry. Raise your arms and look for indentations or an inverted nipple. Feel with the flat of your hand for lumps and thickenings. This is best done in the shower with a soapy hand.

Report any changes such as nipple discharge.

Remember:

  • Know what is normal for you
  • Look and feel
  • Know what changes to look and feel for
  • Report any changes without delay
  • Attend for breast screening if aged 50 or over 
What is a Mammogram?

The mammogram is a relatively low dose x-ray.

Four x-rays are taken, two of each breast, one from top to bottom (cranial caudal) and one from side to side (medio lateral), in order to image all the breast tissue. Each breast is placed in turn onto the x-ray machine and gentle but firm compression is applied.

Compression is very important to keep the breast still and get the clearest picture with the lowest amount of radiation as possible; some patients may find the compression a little uncomfortable.

Research has shown it is comparable to having your blood pressure taken and less painful than having a blood test.

When we screen

Women aged 50 - 70 (invited every 3 years)

The NHSBSP in the UK provides free breast screening every 3 years for all women aged 50 and over. One and a half million women are now screened in the UK each year.

On the Wirral there is an eligible screening population of 45,000 women, each year 15,000 women are invited to be screened of which approximately 13,000 attend.

Once women reach the upper age limit for invitation they are encouraged to attend and make their own appointments. 

When Will I Be Screened?

Every women registered with a GP will receive her first invitation for a mammogram at her local breast screening unit between her 50th and 53rd birthday. She will then be invited every three years until her 70th birthday. Women can change their appointment if not suitable by completing the following “Change of Appointment Request” form. 

Screening in your area

You will be offered breast screening when your GP practice is due, this will be on a 3 yearly rolling programme.

Arriving at the Unit

On arrival, you will be greeted by a female receptionist. The unit guarantees female staff for the initial screening process and are exempt from the sex discrimination act. Once your details are checked you will be asked to sit in the waiting area.

The radiographer performing the examination will positively identify the client and check for symptoms or history of breast disease. The radiographer will answer any questions or concerns. Women are not screened at less than a yearly interval without any symptoms. 

Results

We have strict targets to meet and 90% of results are sent out within two weeks (copy sent to the patient and their GP). The majority of women are returned to routine recall and will be invited again in 3 years.

A minority will be asked to come back to second stage screening, where they will be investigated and assessed for a potential abnormality. 

Assessment Clinic (second stage screening)

This clinic is run by a Breast Specialist Consultant Radiologist who can answer any concerns or anxieties. At this clinic further investigation is carried out. These may include a clinical examination, more mammograms at different angles or with magnification or localised compression. Ultrasound is the other imaging modality used to distinguish between cystic and solid lesions. If an abnormality is perceived by any of these tests they will go onto have FNA (fine needle aspiration) or core biopsy under x ray or ultrasound guidance.

Results are not available on the day as they have to be processed. All biopsy cases are then discussed by the multidisciplinary team at the weekly meeting where the individual and appropriate treatment or follow up is decided for that case.

 

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