Gibraltar Breast Screening program
Breast screening is the checking of a woman’s breasts for cancer before there are signs or symptoms of the disease. The aim of screening is to identify cancers even when they are too small to see or feel.
The program is managed by the GHA Radiology Department as mammography is the best imaging method to detect these cancers.
In Gibraltar, women between the ages 40 and 70 are invited for screening mammograms at 2-yearly intervals.
If you are in the above age range and have not been invited please contact the breast screening team on 200 72266 ext 2214 or email us at [email protected]
Ladies above the age of 70 are not routinely invited for screening but can easily approach the GHA’s Radiology Department to ask for a screening mammogram if they wish to participate.
Women with a strong family history of breast cancer will be assessed in a separate Breast Cancer Family History Clinic run by the GHA’s Breast care Nurses in the Surgical Outpatient Department. A risk assessment is carried out and some women may qualify for annual screening mammograms.
Your Breast Screening Appointment
Report to the Radiology Department reception and wait to be called in for your mammogram. A female radiographer specialised in breast imaging will explain the procedure, take your medical history and perform your mammogram.
This entire procedure takes approximately 30 minutes.
If the mammographer detects a breast problem during the examination (for example, if she feels a lump), you will be referred to the breast clinic in the Surgical Outpatient Department for an assessment.
The breast screening program targets only asymptomatic ladies (without any breast problems).
Images are sent for reporting by two experienced Breast Radiologists in a UK Breast Screening National Training centre, King’s College London (centre contracted by the GHA to report all screening mammograms performed in Gibraltar).
You can expect to get your results within 4 weeks.
Based on these results, a small amount of ladies are called back for further imaging due to technical challenges or to assess changes seen on the mammogram.
All further imaging assessment is performed locally in St Bernard’s Hospital by an experienced Consultant Breast Radiologist. This usually involves further mammograms and ultrasound of the breast.
If suspicious changes are identified during the assessment, then a biopsy will be performed and the samples sent to the Pathology Department.
The result of the biopsy usually takes around two weeks so you will be called with an appointment to discuss your results with the Consultant Breast Radiologist in the Radiology Department.