Breast Cancer Screening
Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in the UK with around 1 in 8 women developing breast cancer in their lifetime. Early recognition and detection of breast cancer increases the chance of treatment before it spreads, leading to more successful outcomes and survival rates.
The London General Practice offers a breast screening service which includes a wide range of diagnostic tests, some of which are not routinely available or easy to access on the NHS. This includes mammogram examinations, with the option of an ultrasound for younger women, and can include biopsy if required. We also offer genetic testing for susceptibility. LGP is linked to an excellent range of diagnostic and analytical facilities to ensure fast-track results and reporting, usually with same-day results.
What happens when you book your Breast Screen at The London General Practice?
Your breast screen will be tailored to your personal health background so we make sure that any concerns you may have are answered, whilst at the same time ensuring that your screen is bespoke to your needs and requirements.
The session includes:
30 minutes with one of our experienced Practice Nurses who will carry out a series of base-line checks on your health including taking bloods to test for:
- Height and weight
- Blood pressure
- Haemoglobin (anaemia)
- Blood sugar levels (diabetes)
- Kidneys and liver function
This is then followed by a 45-minute consultation with a doctor to discuss your personal health history, and family or genetic pre-dispositions and any other health concerns, plus an examination.
Depending on the outcome of this consultation, and potentially your blood or genetic tests, the diagnostic scanning options include:
- Breast Ultrasound
And the Doctor will discuss the benefits of each with you. Once complete you will receive from the Doctor a complete report on your health.
We have access to the latest high-resolution digital technology to detect breast cancer early using low-dose X-rays. A mammogram is an x-ray of the breast and is used to investigate symptoms as well as being offered as part of the breast screening programme to women aged 50-70 in England. In younger women, the breast tissue can be quite dense and therefore an ultrasound can be more effective.
Ultrasound uses high frequency sound waves to produce images of breast tissue. It can be used to determine whether a lump is a fluid filled cyst or solid mass. Other imaging studies are also used such as MRI, and often along with examination of the breasts the doctors may be able to make a diagnosis. However, the only sure way to know if a suspicious area is cancerous is to take a sample of tissue and examine it under a microscope, called a biopsy. A biopsy is when a small sample of breast cells is taken to test if they are cancerous. Needle biopsies are the most common type using a needle to extract a sample of tissue from the breast, usually under a local anaesthetic.
Treatment of breast cancer includes surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy. If you have symptoms it is important to seek advice from your doctor. Early recognition and detection of breast cancer increases the chance of treatment before it spreads, leading to more successful outcomes and survival rates.