These recommendations are for women who do not have any symptoms of breast cancer, are not at high risk of breast cancer, and are waiting for their results following mammography screening.

Recommendations

According to ECIBC's Guidelines Development Group (GDG), following mammography screening, how should you expect to be informed about your results by the screening programme?

The GDG suggests to use a letter to inform you about negative screening results, i.e. where no breast cancer lesions have been detected.

And if the results are unclear?

If the results of your mammography screening are unclear and you need further assessment, the GDG suggests the programme to use a letter followed by a phone call reminder to invite you for further  assessment.

Who are these recommendations for?

  • You had a mammogram and you are waiting the results, and/or
  • You were invited for further assessment following unclear results

What would following these recommendations mean for you?

It might be important to speak with your healthcare professional about the results of your mammogram or other screening test and about:

  • what happens after you have the results
  • why unclear results in mammograms occur
  • anxiety and distress
  • the chances of an incorrect diagnosis or finding cancer
  • your comfort during the tests

If your results were negative and you suspect you have developed symptoms of breast cancer, before your next screening round, you should speak to your healthcare professional about this, at the time it occurs.

If, together with the negative result, you receive information on breast awareness and/or the timing of your next screening appointment, you should read and note this.

Additional considerations

This recommendation suggests informing women about their negative screening results through a letter and not a phone call nor a face-to-face meeting.

The letter is probably acceptable for women and can provide information about the next screening round or symptoms to be aware of.

The GDG judged that a phone call and a face-to-face meeting, to communicate about negative results, would probably not be acceptable nor feasible to implement, due mainly to the costs involved.

However, in the case of unclear results, for the GDG, using a letter followed by a phone call reminder to invite women for further assessment might be appropriate to provide women with additional and more detailed information.

Documentation for professionals