Breast Unit

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in the UK. About 1 in 7 women are diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime.  

The NHS offers screening to save lives from breast cancer. Screening does this by finding breast cancers at an early stage when they are too small to see or feel. 

Screening saves about 1 life from breast cancer for every 200 women who are screened. This adds up to about 1,300 lives saved from breast cancer each year in the UK. 

As the risk of getting breast cancer goes up as your get older, the NHS offers breast screening every 3 years for women aged 50 – 70 years. 

Our Screening Locations

Breast screening is available at the Breast Unit at Peterborough City Hospital year round. 

Alongside this, we also send our mobile breast screening van into the community to the following sites: 

  • Whittlesey 
  • Yaxley 
  • Stamford and Rutland Hospital
  • Bourne 
  • Market Deeping 
  • Chatteris 
  • March 

To check when the mobile breast screening van will be in your area, please phone the Screening Office on 01733 673068 or 01733 673069.

For More Information

Contact the Breast Screening Office on 01733 673068/69 between 9.00am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday or email  

All breast screening information leaflets can be found here

  • Helping you decide leaflet (available in 11 languages) 
  • Screening for women aged 71 or over 
  • Breast implant guidelines 
  • Transgender and non-binary people 
  • Easy guide to breast screening 

What To Expect At Your Screening Appointment - Breast

How you should be screened depends on your age category:

  • Women aged 49 years or under or anyone experiencing any breast symptoms will need a referral to the 2WW Breast Clinic from their GP.
  • Women aged 50 – 70 years and registered with a local GP are invited for breast screening every 3 years. You will be sent a letter so it is important to make sure your GP has your correct contact details. 
  • Women aged 71 years and above can still have 3 yearly screening mammograms, however you will need to contact us to self-refer for an appointment. 

Please let us know prior to your appointment if you: 

  • Need additional support (eg. mobility problems or a learning disability) 
  • Have breast implants 
  • Have a pacemaker or other implanted medical device 
  • Are pregnant or breastfeeding 

You should not attend screening if you: 

  • Have had a bilateral mastectomy (both breasts surgically removed) 
  • Are under the care of a breast consultant 
  • Have had a mammogram (breast x-ray) within the last 6 months 

What to expect at your screening appointment

When you arrive at the breast screening unit, the staff will check your details and ask you about any breast problems you have had. If you have any questions, please ask. 

All mammograms (breast x-rays) are carried out by female mammographers. The mammographer will first explain what will happen. She will then place your breast onto the mammogram machine and lower a plastic plate onto it to flatten it. This helps to keep your breast still and get clear X-rays. 

The mammographer will usually take two X-rays of each breast – one from above and one from the side. She will go behind a screen while the X-rays are taken. You have to keep still for several seconds each time. 

The whole appointment takes less than half an hour and the mammogram only takes a few minutes. 

Receiving your resultsĀ - Breast

You will receive a letter with your breast screening results within 2 weeks of your appointment. The results will also be sent to your GP. 

If your result is normal, you will be sent a results letter and will be invited for your next screening in 3 years’ time. 

Sometimes women will be recalled due technical problems, meaning the mammogram is not clear enough to read. If this happens, you will be asked to return for another mammogram to get a clearer picture of your breast. 

Occasionally women will need another mammogram before they get their result. If you are called back for more tests, you may have a breast examination, more mammograms and ultrasound scans. You may also have a biopsy, which is when a small sample is taken from your breast with a needle to be checked under a microscope. 

About 4 in every 100 women are asked to come back for more tests after screening. Out of these 4 women, 1 will be found to have cancer. 

Your breasts may change between screening appointments, so it is important to check your breasts regularly to know what is normal for you. Please talk to your GP if you have any concerns or have noticed any unusual changes.