East Kent Breast Screening Programme

Image of the East Kent Breast Screening Programme logo

Coronavirus update: NHS Breast Screening Service

When attending your screening appointment please note:

  • Social distancing measures will be in place

  • For your safety please attend at your appointment time, you will not be seen earlier or later. We have very limited waiting facilities at this time.

  • Please come for your appointment alone (other than disabled/carers)

  • We will ask you to sanitise your hands on arrival and again when you enter the x-ray room

  • There will be additional infection control procedures and screening staff will be wearing personal protective equipment such as face masks, gloves and aprons

  • We may have asked you to attend screening at a clinic that is not at your usual venue

Please note: you must NOT attend an appointment if you are suffering from any of the symptoms associated with COVID-19 or are self-isolating.  You should look at the latest government guidance at www.gov.uk/coronavirus before deciding whether to come for screening.

Your appointment may have been delayed. This means more than 36 months may have passed since your last breast screening invitation.

However, screening remains very important. Screening can save lives by finding breast cancers at an earlier stage when treatment is more successful.

Even with invitations for regular breast screening self-examination of your breasts is recommended once a month. It is important to know what is normal for you so you would notice any change.

  • Look at your breasts in the mirror with your arms by your side and then with your arms raised.
  • With your fingers together and using just the pads of your fingers,  gently  press the breast. Feel all the breast in a circular direction up to the collar bone and into the armpit.
  • Lie down with one arm up and examine the breast in the same way, repeat on the other size.

Breast cancer warning signs:

  • A lump or swelling in the breast or armpit-you might feel the lump but not see it
  • A change in the size, outline or shape of your breast
  • A change to the skin, such as puckering or dimpling
  • A fluid discharge from the nipple
  • A red area or rash around your nipple that doesn't heal easily
  • Any change in the appearance of the nipple, such as becoming inverted (pulled in)
  • Any discomfort or pain in one breast, particularly if it's a new pain and doesn't go away (although it is rare for pain alone to be symptom of breast cancer)

Having any if these signs does not mean you have breast cancer, but it is crucial not to delay making an appointment with your GP to have your breasts checked.

Visit the NHS web site for more on breast awareness

Breast screening  is currently offered at 3-yearly intervals to women aged from 50 up to their 71st birthday in England. All ladies are invited by their 53rd birthday.

Women may be eligible for breast screening before the age of 50, and/or at different screening intervals, if they have a very high risk of developing breast cancer.

Breast screening is an effective way of detecting breast cancer, often at a very early stage, when there are no outward signs. The sooner the problem is detected, the more ways there are of treating it successfully. Many women in east Kent have had their lives saved by taking part in the breast screening programme.

Through these web pages you can find out more about NHS Breast Screening in East Kent, how and where you can be screened and about your local hospital's breast screening facilities.

This service is for women without symptoms. If you have any concerns about breast health you should book an appointment to see your GP immediately, who can arrange to refer you for a mammogram or other tests if needed. 

[ Zoom ]
Map to show location of the Breast Screening Service at Kent and Canterbury Hospital. Access from the outside behind the childrens assessment centre on the side closest to the minor injuries unit.

The Stuart Field Mammography Unit

The Stuart Field Mammography Unit/Breast Screening is based at Kent and Canterbury Hospital.

We provide a screening and symptomatic breast imaging service. 

It is a modern department with three x-ray rooms, two ultrasound rooms and two clinical rooms. There is disabled access into the department. The reception area is light and airy, with toilets, including disabled toilets, located nearby.

The department originally opened in 1989, a year after the NHS Breast Screening Programme was set up by the Department of Health. As the service grew, it was extended upward and outward, and the new building which was officially reopened in May 2003, was named after Professor Stuart Field, who set up the service at Canterbury.

The department also runs the three mobile screening units moving around over 18 sites throughout east Kent. It invites around 30,000 women for a screening mammogram each year.

To find out more information about Breast Screening or to alter an appointment, please contact the Breast Screening Unit:

Call: 01227 783000

Email: ekh-tr.breastscreening@nhs.net