This involves regular mammography (breast x-rays) and/or MRI scans (scans that use a magnetic field to build up a picture of the breasts).
Regular breast screening can help to find breast cancer at an early stage, but it won’t prevent it. Breast cancers found at an early stage are often curable.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is an independent body that gives guidance to doctors on the prevention and treatment of ill health in England and Wales.
Guidelines for England and Wales and Scotland recommend that women are offered yearly mammograms if they are aged 40–49 and have an increased risk of developing breast cancer. They also recommend that MRI scans should be available to some women under the age of 50 who are at a greatly increased risk of developing breast cancer.
To find out more about early detection and screening, you may find it helpful to read our information about breast screening and breast screening in women under 50 with a family history of breast cancer.
If you aren’t having regular screening and think you should be, talk to your GP. Your GP will be able to assess your risk and may refer you to a genetic clinic for further assessment and advice on screening and treatment to reduce your risk if this is needed.