Breast cancer screening
Breast cancer is the most common malignant tumour among women. Unfortunately, it often remains unnoticeable in the early stages. It is important to take part in screenings to catch cancer at an early stage. This will enable timely treatment and reduce the mortality rate and improve the life quality of cancer patients.
In Estonia, 50-69-year-old women with health insurance are called for screenings every two years. In 2023, women with valid health insurance who have not undergone a mammography examination in the past two years and were born in the years 1955, 1957, 1959, 1961, 1963, 1965, 1967, 1969, 1971 and 1973 are invited for breast cancer screening. A mammography is the most common type of breast examination that aims to diagnose and discover breast issues in women. A mammography is primarily indicated for women over the age of 35.
- Screening patients can register for the test by calling 666 1900 or in the national digital registry www.digilugu.ee
- The examination is performed in the Magdaleena unit of East Tallinn Central Hospital at Pärnu mnt 104.
- Screening is free of charge (including to uninsured patients).
A special X-ray machine is used for the examination. X-rays are used to make a mammography image, i.e. a mammogram. The radiation dose you are exposed to during the procedure is minute and has no detrimental effect on female health.
You are also welcome to undergo a mammography if you have no complaints but you would still like to have your breasts checked.
To do this, you must first come for an appointment at the breast health office of the Women's Clinic.
Call 666 1900 or send an e-mail to rind [at] itk.ee to schedule an appointment.
Please add your personal identification code, contact number and a short description of your complaint when registering via email. Men are also welcome to turn to the breast office as they too may experience breast-related issues.
It is essential that you come for an examination if you notice:
- a painless 'lump', thickened tissue in the breast or under the arm;
- changes in the shape, size or skin colour of the breast;
- discharge from nipples;
- retraction of the nipple or skin;
- pain or discomfort in one breast;
- redness of the breast, orange peel skin, ulcers; or
- enlarged lymph nodes under the arm.
How to check your breasts?
Look at your breasts in the mirror. Start with your hands by your side and then placed behind your head:
- are your breasts regular in size and shape?
- is the skin smooth and uniform, with a normal colour?
- do the nipples seem normal and move up as you raise your hand?
It is easiest to feel your breasts when bathing when the skin is soapy. This makes any unevenness and potential lumps easy to detect under slippery fingers.
- Use the straightened fingers of your right hand to examine your left breast, pressing it softly.
- Start with the nipple and make your way to the periphery with light circular motions.
- Use the same method to feel the entire breast and the area under the arm.
- The same is then done to the right breast using your left hand.
More information on breast cancer screening is available on the website of the Health Insurance Fund.