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Breast Cancer: Screening

Volume 460: debated on Thursday 24 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance her Department gives on the length of appointment that should be given to women at breast cancer screening clinics. (138577)

[holding answer 21 May 2007]: The national health service breast screening programme National Quality Assurance Co-ordinating Group for Radiography has produced guidelines for the NHS breast screening programme, entitled “Quality Assurance Guidelines For Mammography Including Radiographic Quality Control”.

These guidelines deal with mammographic aspects of breast screening quality assurance and the quality control of radiographic procedures and state that the minimum screening examination for women attending the NHS breast screening programme is two views at all screens and experience shows that six minute appointments are acceptable for most routine screening of women for up to age 70 years.

Some women do require longer appointment times, such as those with mobility problems or breast implants. The local screening units arrange longer appointments for these women.