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National Statistics

Breast Screening Programme, England - 2012-13 [NS]

15:56 May 26, 2017 - 09:30 February 27, 2014
Publication date: February 27, 2014
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Women between the ages of 50 and 70 are invited for regular breast screening (every three years) under a national programme. Screening is intended to detect breast cancer at an early stage when there is a better chance of successful treatment. This report presents information about the NHS Breast Screening Programme in England in 2012-13 and includes data on those invited for breast screening, coverage, uptake of invitations, outcomes of screening and cancers detected.

Key facts

  • Coverage of women aged 53-70 was 76.4 per cent at 31 March 2013, compared with 77.0 per cent at the same point in 2012 and 77.2 per cent in 2011. Although coverage has fallen for the second year running, it is still above the NHS Cancer Screening Programmes minimum standard of 70 per cent
  • In total, 1.97 million women aged 45 and over were screened within the programme in 2012-13. This compares with 1.94 million in 2011-12
  • Uptake of routine invitations amongst women aged 50-70 has fallen for the second year. In 2012-13, uptake was 72.2 per cent. This compares with 73.1 per cent in 2011-12 and 73.4 per cent in 2010-11
  • A total of 16,432 women aged 45 and over had cancers detected by the screening programme in 2012-13, a rate of 8.3 cases per 1,000 women screened. This compares with 15,749 women with cancers detected in 2011-12 (a rate of 8.1 cases per 1,000 women screened)
  • The aim of breast screening is to find breast cancer at an early stage when any changes in the breast are often too small to feel. Of all women with cancers detected in 2012-13, 40.0 per cent had invasive but small cancers (less than 15mm in diameter), that are usually too small to detect by hand. This compares with 40.7 per cent in 2011-12.



Date Range: April 01, 2012 to March 31, 2013
Geographical coverage:
Geographical granularity:
Primary Care Organisations
Local Authorities

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