latest health care news

22.02.11

Breast cancer screening programme success

The NHS Breast Screening Programme detected nearly 6,000 cases of invasive cancer last year of a type usually too small to find by hand.

The new data from The NHS Information Centre shows that 5,913 invasive cancers were less than 15mm across, accounting for 41.6% of all 14,229 cancers detected in 2009/10 among women aged 45 and over.

This was up slightly on 14,166 the year before.

Chief executive of The NHS Information Centre Tim Straughan said: “Our figures show that nearly 6,000 women screened last year had invasive breast cancers detected that were too small to have been found by hand.

“This highlights the vital impact of the National Screening Programme in detecting breast cancers that are so small they measure less than 15mm and could have otherwise gone unnoticed.”

The number of women aged 50 to 70 invited for screening reached 2.24 million, compared to 2.22 million the year before. Uptake of invitations was slightly down however, at 73.2% down from 73.6% the year before, and down from 74.4% in 2004/5.

A full copy of the report, which includes regional level data is at www.ic.nhs.uk/pubs/brstscreen0910

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