Going to your assessment
If anything out of the ordinary shows up on your mammogram, you will be asked to come back in for another assessment.
Your assessment tests are free.
Only around 1 in 10 women will be asked to come back for a further assessment after a first mammogram. For subsequent mammograms, only 1 in 20 will be asked to come back. If you do need to come back, 8 out of 10 women who attend assessment appointments will not have cancer.
Remember, most women who are asked to come back in for assessment do not have breast cancer
At the clinic
At the assessment clinic you will have further tests to clarify what your mammogram showed up. These might include:
- more pictures of the area using the mammogram machine
- an ultrasound scan of the area of interest
- a physical examination by a doctor
- taking a small tissue sample (called a needle biopsy) from your breast and sending it to the laboratory to be examined under a microscope – find out more at having a biopsy.
The assessment could take as little as an hour, or as long as most of the day.
It’s a good idea to plan to be away for the whole day at your assessment
We know it can be a scary time. It may help to talk to someone close to you about how you’re feeling. You can even ask them to come to the appointment with you. Your support person may need to stay in the waiting room during some of the tests – however, they’re welcome to take part in any of the discussion with you on the day.
Before you go
Wear a blouse or jersey with skirt or trousers, as you will need to undress from the waist up for your assessment. You may be asked to remove jewellery and taonga so you may prefer not to wear any.
Avoid using any of the following on the day of your appointment:
- talcum powder
By all means, bring them along for afterwards!
Getting your results
Your team will tell you when to expect your results. You may even get the results on the day of your assessment. The results will also be confirmed with you in a letter and sent to your doctor (unless you ask for this not to happen).
If you have a biopsy, an appointment will be made for you to see a specialist to talk about the results.
If your assessment shows you have breast cancer, we’ll help you choose a specialist, who will provide advice and treatment. Find out more in the treatment section.