Being breast aware

The aim of this part of the website is to give you some general information about self-checking and disorders of the breast, including breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Self Checking - Be 'Breast Aware'

The earlier breast cancer is picked up, the better the chance of successful treatment. Learn how to self check and become familiar with your breasts - then you will be more aware of signs that don't feel normal to you.


The NHS Breast Screening Programme offers free mammograms every 3 years to women between the ages of 50 and 72, with an age extenstion in certain areas (starting at 47). If you are over the age of 72 you can still phone your local breast screening unit and request a mammogram every 3 years, but they will not routinely contact you. The statistics show that women with a cancer detected on a screening mammogram are likely to have an excellent future outlook. The mammograms often detect a breast cancer long before it can be felt as a lump. There are some controversies associated with mammograms, but overall the NHS Breast Screening Programme is a valuable resource for women in the UK and we recommend that you attend your appointments.

Seeking Further Advice

If you have a new breast symptom you must contact your GP and schedule an appointment at the earliest opportunity. If necessary, your GP can then refer you to your nearest Breast Unit and they must see you within 2 weeks of the referral. If you are currently undergoing breast cancer treatment or are within 5 years of your breast cancer treatment, you can contact your team of Breast Care Nurses directly if you are at all worried or confused.

Quick facts

Breast Cancer represented
of all new cancer cases in 2017 and is the most common cancer in women, globally
In UK women, around
new cases of breast cancer were diagnosed in 2017
of breast cancers were in women under 50, between 2015-2017
of breast cancers occurred in women over 75 between 2015-2017