What happens at the Assessment Clinic

4 in 100 women are called back for a second visit. This is because the result suggests that further tests are needed. This does not necessarily mean there is something wrong - 3 out of 4 women recalled are given normal results following these additional tests.

Reasons for further assessment

checking the mammogram
  • Assymetry of tissue - asymmetric breast tissue refers to a greater volume or density of breast tissue in one breast than in the corresponding area in the other breast. This is usually a normal finding.
  • Overlapping breast tissue caused by the compression during the mammogram
  • Benign (non cancerous) areas that require further investigation
  • Small flecks of calcium (micro-calcification) - this is usually associated with cysts and fibrosis. However, it can also be associated with a non-invasive type of breast cancer.
  • Suspicious areas of distortion that can be a sign of early breast cancer.

Possible further investigations

Mammograms

Further mammograms may be required, this may only be necessary on one breast.

Ultrasound (sonography)

This is a painless procedure that involves sound waves to create an image of your breast. Water based gel is applied to your breast and an instrument like a microphone is moved over your breast.

Fine Needle Aspiration

This is a test in which some cells are removed from your breast using a fine needle. The cells are examined under the microscope. Unfortunately there may be some bruising afterwards.

Core Biopsy

A small core of tissue (the size of a pencil lead) is removed using a special needle and a local anaesthetic. This can be done under ultrasound or x-ray (mammogram) guidance. You may experience some bruising afterwards.

Our leaflet Breast Screening – Why have I been called back provides some more information.  If you have been called back for further assessment and you have further questions or concerns you can speak to the Breast Care Nurse.  The number is on your appointment letter.