Breast Screening


The Scottish Breast Screening Programme invites all women between 50 and 70 for breast screening approximately every three years. Invitations are not sent to people over the age of seventy, but you remain at risk of developing breast cancer and are still welcome to attend every three years.

Woman aged between 50 and 70:

Evidence tells us that the risk of developing breast cancer increases with age and that finding breast cancer is most effective using breast x-rays (mammograms) in woman who have reached menopause.

Woman over the age of 70:

You are still welcome to come for screening every three years, although you will not automatically be invited. To make an appointment you can phone your local screening centre. You remain at increasing risk of developing breast cancer and should regularly check your breasts for changes and contact your GP if you are concerned.


All women, at any age should regularly check their breasts for any changes. This includes those under the age of 50 and even those who take part in the screening programme. See the ‘be breast aware’ section below, for helpful information on how to check yourself.

Find out more by checking out this website:


You may also find it helpful to:

  • Contact the NHS Inform helpline on 0800 22 44 88 ( the helpline also provides an interpreting service)
  • Talk to your friends and family who have already attended

Be breast aware at all times

Being breast aware is about getting to know your own body so that you can spot any changes to your breast early on. The most important things you need to know about breast awareness are what is normal for you and that you should tell your GP about any changes as soon as you spot them.

Remember you can develop breast cancer at any time. This includes the time in between breast screening appointments.

It is common for woman of all ages to find changes to their breasts themselves (partners may also notice changes), so checking your breasts regularly is important. You can do this in the bath or the shower, when you use body lotion or when you get dressed.

Changes in your breasts (including the area up to your armpit) may be harmless, but you should get them checked straight away.

You need to look out for:

  • A lump, area of thickened tissue or bumps in either breast.
  • A change in the size or shape of one or both breasts.
  • A lump or swelling in either of your armpits.
  • Skin that appears like orange peel.
  • Crusting on or around the nipple.
  • A leaking nipple which may or may not be streaked with blood.
  • Dimples or skin that’s become drawn in.
  • A nipple that’s become turned in.

If you notice any of these you should make a GP appointment to have it checked out.