Screening for breast cancer (mammography)

Women between the ages of 50 and 69 living in Denmark are offered breast examinations every second year for early detection of breast cancer. The examination is called a mammography and is an X-ray examination of the breasts. You will get a letter by mail or in your e-boks telling you about the examination. The examination is free of charge.

Who gets breast cancer?

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in Denmark, with about 4.800 new diagnoses every year. More than half of the women diagnosed with breast cancer are between 50 and 70 years of age.

 A woman gets a mammogram of her left breast

A woman gets a mammogram. During the examination, the chest is photographed from several angles.

The examination

Mammography is done in specialised radiology clinics. At the examination the breast is pressed as flat as possible between two plates and 2 X-ray images are made from each breast. The examination may be unpleasant if the breast is tender or sore, but only takes a few minutes.

Test results  within 10 workdays

You will get the results of the test by mail within10 workdays. Your GP also receives a copy of the results. If the mammography examination shows a possible cancer or precursors to cancer, you will need further tests, but that does not mean that you have cancer. It could also be a benign (non-cancerous) condition.

Why is screening mammography important?

The aim of screening is to prevent women from dying of breast cancer. Mammograms can detect a cancer tumour when only a few millimetres large and not detectable by palpation. The earlier cancer is detected the greater the chance of a cure. A lump in the breast is not always cancer.

Read more about cancer prevention and treatment:

Cancer prevention and treatment - front page