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Loose Women launches 'Don't Skip Your Screening' campaign

Loose Women has officially launched its Don't Skip Your Screening campaign with the aim to tackle 1.2 million missed mammograms - and the missed opportunity to detect the disease at that critical early stage for people of screening age (50-71).

Loose Women is encouraging women to book their appointment when they're invited and to put themselves “at the top of their to-do list”, by putting their health first.

Sarah, The Duchess of York joined the panel to “support the launch of the campaign”, as well as opening up on her breast cancer story for the first time on TV.

The NHS Breast Screening Programme invites women aged 50-71 for their screening every 3 years. You need to be registered with a GP surgery to be invited for breast screening and you will get a letter in the post inviting you.

If you have not been invited for breast screening by the time you are 53 and think you should have been, contact your local breast screening service. You will not be invited after the age of 71 but you can still have breast screening every 3 years if you want to. You will need to call your local breast screening service to ask for an appointment. 

What happens at your screening?

During breast screening you'll have four breast X-rays (mammograms), two for each breast. The mammograms are performed by a female specialist mammographer. The mammograms only take a few minutes and the whole appointment should last about 30 minutes. Before starting, the mammographer will check your details with you and ask if you have had any breast problems. They will also explain what will happen during the screening and answer any questions you have.

You'll need to undress, in a private changing area, so you are naked from the waist up. You may be given a hospital gown to put on, you'll then be called into the X-ray room and the mammographer will explain what will happen. They will place your breast onto the X-ray machine and it will be squeezed between 2 pieces of plastic to keep it still while the X-rays are taken. This takes a few seconds and you need to stay still. Your breast will be taken off of the machine afterwards and the X-ray machine will then be tilted to one side and the process will be repeated on the side of your breast. Your other breast will be X-rayed in the same way. You will then return to the changing area to get dressed.

You will usually receive your results within one to three weeks. If you require more tests it will outline what to do in the letter. 

For more information about breast screening, including what to do if you miss your appointment and how to book your appointment, use our helplines below:

Breast Cancer Now

Helpline:  0808 800 6000


You can call Breast Cancer Now’s confidential, free helpline to ask a clinical nurse expert about any breast screening or breast health questions. They will explain what will happen when you attend your breast screening appointment.



Offers information on breast screening, breast cancer and where to find your local breast screening service. You’ll also be able to find answer to common breast screening questions.

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Weekdays 12.30pm