Breast health

Breast health check for breast cancer

Breast Cancer Screening

Breast cancer screening tests are used to identify early signs of breast cancer before noticeable signs or symptoms of breast cancer are present, such as a small lump in the breast. Whilst breast screening can detect early signs of breast cancer when the cancer is smaller and easier to treat, it cannot prevent breast cancer.

We welcome anyone aged 40 and above to have a breast cancer screening with us – and you can attend as often as every two years, for peace of mind.

If you're concerned that you have breast cancer symptoms - for example, if you've found a lump - please make an appointment to see a Bupa GP, or your NHS GP as soon as possible.

Breast Cancer Screening Tests


A mammogram uses an X-ray to identify any cancer cells in the breast before noticeable signs or symptoms of breast cancer are present, such as a small lump in the breast. Mammograms detect signs of breast cancer when they are easier to treat.

Breast exam

There are two types of breast exams, a self- exam and clinical exam. Both can help identify any changes or abnormalities in your breasts.

A breast self-examination is a self-inspection of your breasts. Although there’s no recommended way to check your breast it’s recommended to do a breast self-exam once a month, this is a good way to get to know what’s normal for you. When checking your breasts make sure you’re checking the whole of your breast area, being aware of what is normal for you when washing and dressing.

Feeling your breasts with the flats of your fingers when soapy is often helpful and easier. Looking at the size and shape of each breast and checking for any lumps. You should also check your nipples and the skin on your breasts. If you notice any changes in your breast you should speak to your GP.

A clinical breast exam is a physical exam of your breast carried out by a healthcare professional such as a doctor or nurse. During a clinical breast examination your doctor will check for any signs of breast cancer, such as small lumps.

What are the symptoms of breast cancer?

Often the first noticeable symptom of breast cancer is a lump or area of thick tissue in the breast. Whilst not all breast lumps are cancerous, if you find a lump. Please visit your GP as soon as possible to get checked over.

Other symptoms of developing breast cancer include:

  • A change in the size or shape of your breast
  • Changes to the skin on your breast, for example, dimpling, rash or redness. Part of your self examination should involve looking in a mirror
  • Discharge or fluid that leaks from your breasts
  • A change in the appearance of your nipple

A monthly breast self-examination can help you to notice any changes in your breasts. If you do notice any abnormalities in your breast it’s important to discuss these with your GP – the earlier cancer is detected the easier it is to treat.

Benefits of Breast Screening

Breast screening helps to detect breast cancer early, meaning it is it’s easier to treat, may require less treatment than if breast cancer was detected at a later stage and is more likely to be cured. Research by Cancer Research UK has found breast screening reduces the number of deaths from breast cancer by about 1,300 a year in the UK.

Risks of Breast Screening

Whilst breast screening is helpful in identifying early signs of breast cancer the tests aren’t perfect. In some cases, a breast cancer screening result can be a ‘false positive’. This can mean you’re called back for more tests, but then found not to have breast cancer. However, a ‘false negative’ result, can also lead to your cancer being missed by the mammogram or not showing up.

A ‘false positive’ result can be stressful and upsetting however, there is support available if you’re worried or concerned about having a breast screening or receiving your results.

Bupa Breast Health Check

Our breast health check is suitable for women aged 18 and above.

While most changes in the breast are not breast cancer, detecting any signs of breast cancer at an early stage can help to make any treatment easier and more effective.

The mammogram component of the breast check is only available for women aged 40+. If you have any questions or wish to make an enquiry about our breast health check services or your gynaecological health, talk to an adviser about our female health check on 0330 134 2793^,

What’s next?

^ We may record or monitor our calls.

Bupa health assessments are provided by Bupa Occupational Health Limited. Registered in England and Wales No. 631336. Registered office: 1 Angel Court, London, EC2R 7HJ.