Frequently Asked Questions


Have a question about breast screening?

We appreciate that it can be an anxious time for many people when they first visit the service, we have provided a list of our frequently asked questions, with answers below.  If you can't find the answer to any of your questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Can I change the date and time of my appointment?
Yes, please complete the online change your appointment form to request an alternative date, time or location of your screening appointment.

Does it hurt?

Some women find mammography uncomfortable and some find it painful as the breasts have to be held firmly in position and pressed to take a good x-ray. If you do experience discomfort it usually only lasts as long as the mammogram although it may continue for some time in a small number of women.

I don't want to be screened, what do I do?

We respect your decision not to be screened, although we would encourage all women to attend for breast screening when invited. However if you choose not to take up your invitation please contact the screening office so your appointment is not wasted.
If you change your mind at any point in the future please contact us. We will be happy to make you another appointment.

You can contact the screening unit using the change your appointment form.

Can I bring someone with me?
Yes. Please be aware that there is limited space at some of our screening sites particularly the mobile screening vans.

Can I bring my children with me?
We would discourage anyone to bring young children with them. The mammograms use x-rays so no one else can be present in the x-ray room so your children would have to sit in the waiting room by themselves.

Will men be present?
Men may be present in the main waiting area.  

I missed my appointment, how do I get another one?
Please contact the screening unit using the change your appointment form and we will arrange a new appointment for you. If you prefer you can telephone the office on 01524 518699, and we will be happy to make you another appointment.

What should I wear?
You will be asked to undress completely down to your waist so it is a good idea to wear a separate top instead of a dress.

Can I wear deodorant or talc?
Some deodorants and talc are visible on the mammograms and can lead to the mammograms being repeated so it is best not to wear any deodorant or talc. You can always bring some wipes and wipe any deodorant off before your appointment.

Does Breast Screening prevent breast cancer?
No. Breast screening aims to find breast cancer at an early stage when it may be too small for you or your doctor to feel. Finding breast cancer early greatly increases the chance of successful treatment

I have been invited to have a mammogram, but I have had a mammogram within the last six months, do I still need to come?
Please contact us on 01524 518699 to discuss your screening appointment for us to establish if this invitation is suitable for you to attend.

I have a breast lump how do I make an appointment?
If you have a breast lump or any other breast symptom you should see your GP, who may organise a referral to your local breast unit.

Are Mammograms Safe?
Any x-ray involves radiation but mammograms only require a very low dose. It is about the same as the dose a person receives by flying from London to Australia and back. The risk that such a low dose could cause a cancer is far outweighed by the benefits of early detection of breast cancer.

When do I get my results?
Your results will be sent to your home address and you should expect to receive them within two/three weeks. You will be advised of any expected delays at the time of your screening.

Who will take my mammogram?
A female Mammographer will always perform the x-ray.

I have a pacemaker, can I have a mammogram?
Yes, it is safe for you to have a mammogram. It is helpful if you can tell the Mammographer where your pacemaker is sited.

I have breast implants will this affect my mammogram?
Breast implants appear as a solid white area on a mammogram. This may hide some of the breast tissue preventing it from being seen on the x-ray. The film readers will only be able to report on the breast tissue that they can see on your mammogram so usually extra images are taken. Before commencing the mammograms the Radiographer will explain everything to you so that you will be aware how your mammograms will differ to mammograms without implants.

I am disabled, how do I arrange my screening appointment?
Please contact us on 01524 518699 to discuss your screening appointment, as we would like to allocate more time for your appointment. Your appointment will be made at one of our units in Barrow, Kendal or Lancaster where we have larger rooms and disabled access.

Updated May 2018

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Contact Us

North Lancashire and South Cumbria Breast Care Unit
Ashton Court
Royal Lancaster Infirmary
Tel: 01524 518699 (9am - 4pm)

Email: Email us 
(In order to protect your personal information we cannot reply to emails but if you include your telephone number we will contact you.)

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