Breast Screening

Message from Dr Adrian Mairs - Regional Director of Quality Assurance

The best available evidence shows that screening saves lives by detecting cancers earlier than they would otherwise have been.

I would encourage all women who are invited for breast screening to attend. I would also encourage women over the age of 70 to contact their local breast screening unit to ensure they can continue to attend for breast screening.

Breast screening remains the best way we have of detecting breast cancer at an early stage when treatment can be more effective and less complicated.

You will find information about the Breast Screening Programme, the process of Screening and the role of Quality Assurance.  I hope you find the site useful and informative.

Dr Adrian Mairs, PHA

The Breast Screening Programme

The Breast Screening Programme covers the whole of Northern Ireland. It involves staff from GP surgeries, Health Centres, hospital-based Breast Screening Units and the Regional Screening Office.

Each screening office sends out invitations for appointments at the screening units or on the mobile units. Each office also maintains records on all women eligible for screening, eg changes of address, and dates & details of previous visits.

The Quality Assurance Reference Centre (QARC), which is an independent organisation, is also based in Belfast and is responsible for ensuring that all aspects of the screening programme aim to meet with agreed national standards. This includes the ongoing training of staff and ensuring that equipment is regularly checked and maintained. The QARC actively encourages the pursuit of excellence in all areas of the Cancer Screening Programme.