EXAMINATIONS/TESTS

Mammogram – breast screening

Mammografi

A mammogram is a breast screening tool that can show whether you have breast cancer or are at risk of getting cancer. Mammograms make it possible to detect and treat breast cancer at an early stage. Mammograms are performed free of charge.

Picture of mammography
The nurse explains how the examination is performed.

What is a mammogram?

A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast that can show whether there have been any changes. The change may be so small that you cannot feel it yourself. A change is not necessarily something dangerous that you need to worry about, but in some cases it could lead to breast cancer.

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women. The risk of getting breast cancer increases with age. There is a greater chance of recovery if the cancer is detected early.

Why am I being called in for a mammogram?

All women in Sweden between the ages of 40 and 74 are called in for a mammogram about every other year. You will receive a personal invitation for an examination. The invitation will list the time and place of the examination.

You can reschedule the appointment if it does not fit your schedule. You can also contact a mammography clinic or healthcare centre to schedule an appointment.

You can do the mammogram even if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Breastfeed or pump out the milk right before the examination to make it easier.

It is your own decision whether you want to have a mammogram, but it is a good idea to do it.

You can bring a friend along or use an interpreter

The examination is done by a nurse at a mammography clinic.

All staff at the clinic have a duty to maintain patient confidentiality. This means that the staff are not allowed to tell people outside of the healthcare system anything about you.

It is important that you understand what the staff tell you. If you do not speak Swedish, you may be entitled to an interpreter (a person who translates from your language into Swedish, and vice versa). The interpreter also has a duty to maintain patient confidentiality. If you would like an interpreter, please contact the clinic before your appointment.

You can bring a friend or family member along to the examination if you want. A friend or family member who translates for you is not an interpreter, and therefore does not have a duty to maintain patient confidentiality.

How the examination is performed

You will enter a room with a machine that takes pictures of the inside of the body, called X-rays.

You will be asked a number of questions, such as:

  • Have you noticed any changes in your breasts?
  • Are you taking birth control pills or any other medicines that contain hormones?

You will be asked to remove your clothes from the waist up, and then sit or stand near the machine. The nurse will show you how to hold your arms and how to stand. Try to relax.

The nurse will help you place one of your breasts on a special plate. Another plate will then be pressed against your breast, making it flat. It takes a few seconds to take an X-ray. Two or three different X-rays are needed for each breast. The entire examination will take 15 to 30 minutes.

When will I get the results?

You will get the results in about two weeks. You will get a letter or be contacted by phone. The letter will be sent to your official address of record. You will be asked to come in for a new examination if the mammogram showed that something has changed in your breasts.

You can request an examination

You can contact a mammography clinic or healthcare centre and request a mammogram. Contact a healthcare centre if you have noticed any changes in your breasts, like if you feel something hard. If that is the case, you will need to be examined by a doctor.

Feel free to call the 1177 hotline if you have any questions or need some advice by phone. The hotline is staffed by nurses. They can let you know whether you should seek medical care.

You can speak Swedish or English. The 1177 hotline is free of charge.

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