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How to book or change a breast screening appointment

You will be sent an invitation letter in the post when it's time for you to have breast screening (mammogram).

Booking your appointment

There are 2 ways your breast screening appointment will be booked. Your invitation letter will either:

  • ask you to book an appointment by phone, email or sometimes online
  • give you a pre-booked appointment and tell you when and where to go for breast screening

Breast screening may be done at a:

  • breast screening clinic, often within a hospital
  • mobile breast screening unit – these could be in lots of different locations, such as in a supermarket car park

You will usually get instructions on how to find the clinic or screening unit.

Information:

Try to book your appointment as soon as you get invited.

If you have not been sent a letter

Contact your local breast screening service if:

  • you've not been invited for breast screening by the time you are 53 and think you should have been
  • it's been more than 3 years since your last appointment and you think you’re overdue

Things to help screening staff plan your appointment

To make sure your appointment works for you, it may need to be adjusted. This could include having a longer appointment or going to a different location.

To help them plan your appointment, tell the breast screening service if you:

  • need additional support to attend screening – for example, if you have a learning disability or difficulties with your mobility (wheelchair access is available at most centres and some mobile units)
  • have breast implants – you may need an extra X-ray to get a clearer picture around the implant
  • have a pacemaker or another medical device implanted in your body
  • are pregnant, think you could be pregnant or are breastfeeding
  • are under the care of a breast consultant
  • have had a mammogram in the last 6 months
  • have had a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine within the past 5 days – some people may have swollen glands in their armpit which can be picked up by the X-rays

Tell them this when booking your appointment or by calling the screening service if you have been given a pre-booked appointment.

Booking if you are trans or non-binary

You can have breast screening if you:

  • were assigned female at birth and have not had top surgery (surgery to remove the breasts and have male chest reconstruction)
  • were assigned male at birth and have been taking feminising hormones for longer than 2 years

Find out more about when you'll be invited for breast screening and who can be screened.

If you are registered as male with a GP, you may not be invited automatically.

If you think you should have breast screening, but you are not invited automatically, talk to your GP surgery, or call or email your local breast screening service to ask for an appointment.

Things to help when booking your appointment

Do

  • ask someone else to book the appointment for you if that is more comfortable for you

  • ask for an appointment at the beginning or end of a clinic to give you more privacy and time to talk to the mammographer

  • tell them you want to have someone with you – such as a carer, someone to interpret for you, a friend, a family member or another member of staff (chaperone)

  • tell the staff your pronouns, if you would like to

Changing or cancelling an appointment

If you need to change or cancel your appointment, contact the breast screening service you booked your appointment with.

If you were sent a booked appointment, your letter will tell you how to change or cancel your appointment.

Page last reviewed: 10 September 2021
Next review due: 10 September 2024