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Breast cancer is the most common cancer that affects women in the UK, but we know that it can usually be treated very successfully if it is detected early enough. Although breast screening cannot prevent cancer, it can often catch it before it spreads and becomes more challenging to treat. Research estimates that breast screening can reduce breast cancer mortality by 20%.
In the UK, all women aged between 50 and 70 are invited to attend breast screening every three years. However, for women aged under 50, who are in a high risk group or have a family history of breast cancer, breast screening at the Thames Breast Clinic can help provide reassurance or, if there is a cause for concern, rapid diagnosis and immediate treatment.
Patients at the Thames Breast Clinic can also benefit from state-of-the-art diagnostic techniques; first, a comprehensive patient history is taken, including a family history assessment. As well as physical examination, we carry out a digital mammography and an MRI if required.
We can also provide genetic testing if necessary. In recent years there have been significant developments in our understanding of how genes determine our predisposition to develop certain diseases. Variants in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 have been discovered to greatly increase our risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer.
Genetic testing should not be undertaken lightly and we provide counselling and support as you make this important decision and ensure you understand the implications if you are found to carry this genetic variation. We will also advise you on what risk-reducing measures you should consider.
We understand that this can be a period of considerable anxiety so we aim to provide your breast screening results as quickly as possible and we are on hand to offer support and guidance at all times.