NHS Breast Cancer Screening

  • Offered to women aged 50 to 70 (extended in some areas)
  • Individual offered screening every 3 years
  • Involves a simple mammogram
  • Roughly 1 in 100 women screened are diagnosed with cancer


Screening Limitations

  • False positives and negatives
  • Exposure to radiation (causes around 5 cancers per 10,000 women who undergo full screening)


High Risk Patients

  • Complex NICE guidelines [CG164] for referral for genetic testing
    • Review criteria if multiple relatives on the same side with breast / ovarian cancer
  • Patients should be offered genetic counselling and pre-test counselling prior to testing
  • Tests available for BRCA1, BRCA2, TP53 and PTEN genes
  • Screening for breast cancer in high risk patients consists of annual mammograms
    • Aged 40-49 if moderate risk
    • Aged 40-59 if high risk
    • Aged 40-69 if known BRCA positive
    • Consider offering aged 30-59 if high risk
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