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2.23m women screened for breast cancer in 2018-19

2.23m women aged 45 and over were screened for breast cancer in 2018-19, a 4.5% increase on 2017-18 (2.14m), and a 26.0% increase since 2008-09 (1.77m).
The greatest increases are in the over-70 age range, where 218,000 women were screened for breast cancer in 2018-19, a 51.2% increase on 2017-18 (144,000) due, at least in part, to invites sent to women who had not previously received a final invitation1.

For women aged 50 to 70, the number of women screened increased by 1.8%, from 1.83m in 2017-18 to 1.87m in 2018-19.

The Breast Screening Programme, England, 2018-19 provides information on the coverage, screening activity, number and uptake of invitations, as well as the outcome of screening and the rate of cancer detection of the NHS Breast Screening Programme.


Coverage, which is measured for women aged 53-70, dropped slightly to 74.6% in 2018-19, from 74.9% in 2017-18.

Coverage figures are based on the proportion of the eligible population screened within the last three years.

Therefore, coverage is affected by population fluctuations and screening activity over a three-year period – so changes in coverage may not directly mirror changes in the number of invites or screens in a given year.