Breast Cancer Screening
Women between the ages of 50 and 65 have the right to breast cancer screening, including a mammogram, every two years. Local health clinics participate in the breast cancer screening programme, but they are not the only place where you can get your bi-annual check up.
Ideally, women between the ages of 50 and 65 will receive a personalised letter from health authorities informing them about their right to have a check up and encouraging them to take advantage of the opportunity. If you don't receive a letter, you can visit your local health clinic to ensure you are included in the programme.
Your doctor at your local health clinic will probably send you to a central facility where mammograms are carried out in your area; regional hospitals also carry part of the patient load. Additionally, many small pueblos and rural areas are served by the mobile breast cancer screening units. Finally, the Asociacion Española Contra el Cancer (AECC), a non-profit organisation, works with the regional health system to ensure coverage in some parts of Andalucia.
If you are under the age of 50 and have a family history of breast cancer that worries you, speak with your family doctor to see if you could be eligible for inclusion in the screening programme at your local clinic. If that is not possible, visit the nearest branch of AECC (The Spanish Anti-Cancer Association) with a copy of your health history and you may be able to get free mammograms and check ups at their facilities. For more information about AECC, ring 900 100 036.
Mammograms carried out at public health facilities are supposed to be read by two different specialists. If anything suspicious turns up, you should be contacted for further studies and/or treatment which will probably take place at the nearest hospital.