FAQ 12

Can women with a physical disability be screened?

Mammography is a procedure which is technically difficult and which requires a high degree of cooperation between the mammography practitioner and the woman. The woman has to be carefully positioned on the x-ray machine, and must be able to hold the position for several seconds. This may not be possible for women with limited mobility in their upper bodies or who are unable to support their upper bodies unaided. If a woman has a physical disability, or is a wheelchair user, then the breast screening unit should advise on whether breast screening is technically possible, and where would be the most appropriate place for her to be screened. This will usually be at a static unit.

If a mammogram is not technically possible, the woman should still remain in the call and recall programme, as any increased mobility at a future date may make screening easier. There is no alternative to screening by mammography.

If a woman cannot be screened she should be advised on breast awareness.

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