The success of the NHS Breast Screening Programme

Yesterday NHS Digital released the impressive statistics for the NHS Breast Screening Programme, England 2015-16.

Under the NHS Breast Screening Programme, all eligible women aged between 50 and 70 are invited for breast screening every three years, with the aim of detecting breast cancer at an early stage and increase the chances of successful treatment.

The report contains statistics on the proportion of eligible women who have been screened in the last three years, uptake of invitations, outcomes of screening and cancers detected as a result of breast screening.

The Key findings include:

  • In total, more than 2.16 million eligible women aged over 45 were screened, an increase from 2.11 million in 2014-15., which represents an increase of 2.7%.
  • 2015-16 saw the first increase in coverage in five years with 75.7% of women aged 53 to 70 having a recorded test within the last three years.
  • All regions outside of London met the NHS minimum standards for breast screening coverage. London reported breast screening coverage of 69.3%.
  • Uptake of invitations was highest among the women in the 65-70 age groups (73.4%).
  • Uptake at a regional level was above the national minimum standard of 70%, except London, which reported invitation uptake of 64.9%.
  • Of all women screened and with cancers detected, 41.2% (7,543 women) had small but invasive cancers (<15mm) that are usually too small to be detected by self-examination.

This is extremely promising and I hope that the success of the programme continues, and reduces cases of one of the worst types of cancer. I would encourage every woman to get screened whenever it becomes available to them.

Read and interact with the report with here:http://content.digital.nhs.uk/pubs/brstscreen1516

 

 

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