Supporting my patient
Many women are reluctant to have their breasts screened because of embarrassment or discomfort. Health care professionals have an important role to play in providing support to these women and encouraging them to participate in BreastScreen if it’s appropriate for them.
Health care professionals can support their patients to participate in BreastScreen by explaining the mammography process. Very few women report that mammography is a pleasant experience, and so providing a simple and accurate account – for example, “a female health professional will compress your breast in the mammography machine and take an x-ray” – can prepare women for the experience and reduce their level of concern.
General practitioners also have a key role to play if breast screening results prompt further investigations. If a woman provides BreastScreen NSW with her GP’s details, her GP will be provided with comprehensive information on their patient’s BreastScreen results and will be kept updated of their process through the assessment and, if appropriate, diagnosis process. As trusted health professionals with an existing relationship with their patients, GPs have a critical role in supporting their patients at this uncertain time.