FAQ's

Do I need a doctor’s referral for an appointment?

You do not require a referral for your mammogram if you are 40yrs and older, but if below the age of 40yrs you should have a referral from a GP if needing a mammogram. You will require a doctor’s referral for an ultrasound. Please phone or email to arrange a convenient time for your appointment.

How long will my mammogram take?

It’s a good idea to allow 30min – 1 hour. Unexpected delays can occur but if there is a delay our reception team will let you know as soon as possible.

What should I wear?

Wear comfortable clothing and we suggest it is best to wear a skirt or trousers rather than a dress.

Why a mammogram?

A mammogram is still the best procedure for detecting small lumps that can’t be felt by hand. It uses low-dose x-rays to create images of the breast tissue to reveal any abnormalities or problem areas.

What age should I start getting mammograms?

At Mercy Breast Clinic, we recommend that women aged 40-50 get a mammogram every year and women over 50, every second year. If you have a higher risk of developing breast cancer, speak to us about when you should start having regular mammograms.

What happens during the mammogram procedure?

Firstly, we’ll ask you to undress above the waist and provide you with a wrap to put on. Next, one of our specialists will ready the machine’s plates and position your breasts up onto the plates. The upper plate will then be lowered, compressing your breasts for a short period of time while our specialist takes x-ray pictures. You may feel slight discomfort when your breasts are flattened between the plates – if it becomes too unbearable please tell us. The entire procedure will take approximately 20minutes – with the actual breast compression lasting only a few minutes. We’ll have results ready to discuss with you immediately after your mammogram.

What should I do or tell the specialist before my mammogram?

Many women schedule their mammograms around their period cycle. The days leading up to your period, or during your flow, can make your breasts more tender. If you are experiencing or have experienced any breast changes or problems please talk to us about these before your mammogram. It’s also important that you inform us about any medical history that could affect your breast cancer risk—such as breast cancer in your family or hormone risk, or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.