What screening tests should i do to rule out breast cancer?

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Screening tests are a form of secondary prevention. It consists in preventing the consequences of the disease through its early detection and implementation of treatment. Currently, screening programs for breast cancer, cervical cancer and colorectal cancer are being developed in Poland.

If breast cancer is detected at an early stage of development, it is possible to cure it completely. At this stage, no metastases to other organs are formed yet, which makes it possible to implement less aggressive treatment.The Alivia Cancer Foundation conducts advocacy and educational activities, helping cancer patients. Do you like what we do? Support us in the fight against cancer!

What is a mammogram?

As part of the breast cancer prevention program, mammography is performed. Mammography allows the detection of neoplastic changes in the breasts before symptoms appear. A mammogram is based on taking pictures of the breast using a radiological method. The dose of radiation taken during the test is very small and should not be cause for concern.

Who should get a mammogram? Performing mammography tests is recommended for women aged 50-69. Research has shown that mammography in this age group has the greatest reduction in mortality from breast cancer.

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Mammography should be performed every 2 years or annually in women with risk factors:

  • breast cancer among family members (mother, sister, daughter),
  • mutation of the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes.

The test is not recommended for women younger than 40 who are not burdened with risk factors. This is due to the fact that the breasts of young women have a dense, glandular-fibrous structure, which lowers the sensitivity of the examination. In such women, the examination of choice is ultrasound.

Another contraindication to the examination is pregnancy. It is worth noting, however, that the contraindications for the examination are not the small size of the breasts. Women who have undergone breast augmentation or reduction surgery may also undergo it

How to sign up for a mammogram? How is the test performed?

As part of the Breast Cancer Prevention Program *, mammography is free of charge and does not require a referral. You can apply for such a test yourself or after receiving an invitation. It is enough to find out at the nearest clinic whether mammography is performed there or contact the NFZ helpline with a request to indicate the nearest facility performing this examination free of charge. On this website you can also find out where mammobus tests are free of charge. The program does not cover women who have previously been diagnosed with breast cancer.

It is worth bringing mammography pictures from the previous examination to the mammogram in order to compare any changes. During the examination, 2 photos of each breast and a description of the examination are taken, the result should be provided within 15 working days.