• Women in Northern Ireland
  • 40 - 49yrs of Age & 70+

Breast Screening aims to find cancers early, it uses an x-ray called a mammogram which can find very small cancers before they have caused any symptoms or can be felt. The NHS invites woman aged 50-70 for Breast Screening every 3 years.

Action Cancer is the only charity in the UK and Ireland to offer breast screening to women aged 40 – 49 and 70 plus who fall outside the NHS age range.

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    We have been screening women in Northern Ireland for breast cancer since 1978, ten years ahead of the introduction of the NHS service.
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    In 2018, we launched the first 3D breast screening service in the UK, this involved us adding to the traditional 2D mammogram an additional tool called Digital Breast Tomosynthesis (DBT).

Digital Breast Tomosynthesis

DBT creates a 3-dimensional picture of the breast, it takes multiple pictures of each breast from many angles. Action Cancer use this 3D technology to screen all those aged 40-49. The benefits proven by research are:

  • It is able to detect more breast cancers at an early stage
  • Less people are called back for additional tests
  • Less compression is required for mammogram

Why have a Breast Screening?

Women are very good at looking after other people but often don’t take time to look after their own needs.  

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK and the number of people diagnosed each year is increasing. But with earlier diagnosis and better treatment options fewer people are dying from breast cancer. 

Evidence shows that breast screening has contributed to this reduction. Breast screening will not prevent breast cancer from developing, but it can help find a breast cancer sooner, which means a better outlook is more likely.  Cancers detected early are much more treatable.  

Early detection of breast cancer via screening saves lives! 


Who is Eligible?

Breast screening programmes such as ours exist to x-ray well (asymptomatic) women who have no signs, symptoms or increased risk of breast cancer in age group where it has been proven to be effective, every 2 years. Our screening service is accessible for those aged 40-49 & 70+ (the NHS programmes covers those aged 50-70).   

All our clients self-refer out of a desire to participate in mammography screening and this is internationally recommended for all women over 40.  

If you have a breast concern or any symptoms please see your GP immediately, a breast screening mammogram may not be the appropriate test and the NICE guidelines around symptomatic women are very different, we will be unable to screen you should you have a concern.  

Please see our signs & symptoms section under FAQs and if you have any concern re eligibility to appointment please call us for advice. 


Where is Screening offered?

Action Cancer provide Breast Screening in 2 venues: 

  • Action Cancer House at 20 Windsor Ave Belfast 
  • On board our mobile unit the Big Bus which travels to over 200 locations across Northern Ireland each year.

NHS screening

If you are aged 50 – 70 and are registered with a GP, you will be called every three years for a mammogram with the NHS Breast Screening Programme. This service is organised via your GP. For more information contact your GP or local breast screening unit: 

  • Belfast & South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust     028 9033 3700
  • Northern Health and Social Care Trust     028 9442 4425
  • Southern Health and Social Care Trust     028 3834 7083
  • Western Health and Social Care Trust      028 7161 1443 



What happens during a mammogram?

When you come for breast screening, we provide you with a safe, comfortable experience.


Have a question?

Have a question about breast screening?