Breast screening


Breast Cancer is the most common cancer in the UK. Approximately 55,000 women and 400 men are diagnosed each year.  It is estimated that one in nine women in Scotland will be diagnosed in their lifetime.  Breast cancer is currently the second most common cause of cancer death amongst women in the UK.

Breast Screening can detect tiny cancers, often before they can be seen or felt. Breast Screening saves approximately 130 lives every year in Scotland because detecting cancers early, when they are smaller makes them easier to treat.

If you have noticed breast changes or have concerns regarding your breasts, please contact your own GP, who can make a referral to a local symptomatic breast clinic.

The South West of Scotland Breast Screening Service operates from its headquarters at Ayrshire Central Hospital, Irvine. It provides screening for women in Ayrshire & Arran and Dumfries & Galloway.  All women, registered with a GP within those regions and aged between 50 and 70 years will automatically be invited for screening once every three years.  This currently amounts to approximately 82,000 women. 



Mobile screening

If you live close to Irvine, you will be invited to have you screening mammogram taken at Ayrshire Central Hospital but the majority of women, around 80%, will have their screening examinations carried out on a mobile screening unit. There are currently 24 sites used for mobile units spread across Ayrshire and Arran and Dumfries and Galloway.



How we choose our sites

Mobile screening sites are chosen very carefully, they must:

  • Have good public transport links.
  • Have standard and disabled parking spaces close by.
  • Be close to public toilet facilities because mobile units do not have toilets on board.


Invitations for breast screening are sent out in batches according to the GP practice to which women in each location are registered. They are issued directly from the headquarters in Irvine and are posted approximately three weeks in advance.



It is important that you contact the screening centre beforehand if you intend to accept your invitation and any of the following applies to you:

  • You have had breast x-rays within the last 6 months.
  • You are currently being treated for breast cancer or having follow-up tests.
  • You have had both breasts removed.
  • You have breast Implants.
  • You have a disability or special requirements.
  • You are a wheelchair user.

Please Note: The Breast Screening Service is unable to accommodate babies or children under the age of 16 safely and therefore we ask that you do not bring children with you when you attend your screening appointment.



GPs are notified of all outcomes for women under their care, including non-attendance or declined appointments. If you fail to take up your initial invitation you will receive a reminder letter within seven days of your original appointment.



The Breast Screening service aims to issue your results within 15 working days.



At the South West of Scotland Breast Screening Centre, we want to provide you with a quality service and therefore welcome and encourage feedback. We issue customer satisfaction questionnaires regularly and implements changes wherever possible to improve your experiences.


We actively encourage you to be breast aware. You should know how your breasts look and feel normally in order to detect any changes that may occur.

For more information about how to detect breast cancer early, including: how to check your breasts or what signs and symptoms to look out for go to

For more facts and figures about breast cancer go to

For more information about breast cancer and other breast issues such as pain, family links, breast awareness and much more go to



Contact us:

Call: 01294 323506/7


Address: South West of Scotland Breast Screening Centre, Ayrshire Central Hospital,  IRVINE, KA12 8SS

Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9am -5pm

Director: Dr J. Kelly


Click here for information about how to find Ayrshire Central Hospital.