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Breast screening programme publishes 2 new best practice guides for mammographers

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We have published 2 new documents to support mammographers (healthcare professionals who take breast x-rays) at all levels – from assistant practitioners to consultant practitioners – who work in breast screening.

The new publications are:

Guidance for breast screening mamographers

The updated guidance for breast screening mammographers includes:

  • the removal of quality control guidance (which is published in a separate publication)
  • details of new quality assurance processes
  • the removal of reference to core radiographic standards (these are published online)
  • the required use of the Eklund technique for women with breast implants
  • updated information on workforce education and training

This guidance aims to make sure that all mammographers working in breast screening offer the best service possible. It provides evidence-based advice on the best way to obtain good diagnostic quality images to detect breast cancer. It also provides a framework for identifying, reporting and resolving problems relating to breast screening.

Mammographers are responsible for producing breast images of the highest diagnostic quality to maximise cancer detection. This means all glandular tissue should be included on the mammogram and the tissue should be presented as clearly as possible. In some circumstances, there may need to be a repeat examination or a recall to a second appointment for technical reasons to obtain an image of appropriate quality.

Technical recall and repeat examinations

The technical recall and repeat guidance includes:

  • details of new quality assurance processes
  • updated information on how to enter repeat exams on the national IT system
  • new details of how to more accurately check and monitor the performance of mammographers

The recent publication on Radiation risk with digital mammography in breast screening may also be of interest to professionals in the programme.

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