Recalls and secondary assessment at our Breast Care Units

Some women may be asked to visit our Breast Care Unit again. This is because their breast x-rays (mammograms) did not give enough information and more detail is needed to help us decide on a result.

We appreciate that it may be worrying to be invited for a further appointment, but please remember that the majority of women (4 out of every 5) that come back to this assessment clinic are found to have a normal result.‚Äč

After a routine screening mammogram, there are 3 possible results:


Your x-rays have shown no signs of cancer and you will be invited again in 3 years time for your next routine screen. If you will be over 70 then please contact us for an appointment nearer the time.

Technical repeat

Sometimes the quality of the x-ray does not allow for all the breast tissue to be seen clearly, and needs to be repeated for technical reasons only.

Approximately 3 out of every 100 women screened will be called back for a technical repeat to get a clearer, more detailed mammogram. You will usually be invited to attend the screening site where you had the initial mammograms performed.


Sometimes the mammograms do not give enough information and a further examination is needed before we can decide on a result.

This additional appointment is part of routine screening and for most women invited back nothing of concern will be found. Any women invited to an assessment clinic will be able to speak to a member of staff by telephone if they want more information before attending.

When you arrive for this visit, a clinician from our specialist multi-disciplinary team will explain what will happen and keep you informed at all stages. The clinician involved at each stage of your appointment will vary.

What will happen and how long will I be at the clinic?

The process will take between 1-4 hours. You may be offered a biopsy during this appointment if it is found necessary. This will be discussed with you before and your consent will be obtained. If a biopsy is taken you will be given a small amount of local anaesthetic to numb the area and a few needle samples may be taken. You will be invited back in around 2 weeks to discuss the results of the biopsy with a consultant and plan any further tests or treatment.