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Nearly 19,000 Wiltshire women miss breast cancer screening

Nearly 19,000 Wiltshire women miss breast cancer screening

Published by Henrietta Creasey at 10:33am 8th January 2020.

2 minute read

Fewer women are accepting the invitation for the health check to help catch cancer early.

Women are invited for a breast screening every three years between the ages of 50 and 70

Only 74% of the 72,349 women in the Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group area due a screening in the three years to the end of last March took up the offer.

This means 18,775 women were not up to date with their checks.

In Hampshire a similar number of women,18,249, were not up to date with their checks however a higher proportion 77% took up the offer.

The UK National Screening Committee says at least 70% of women sent an invitation should attend, but that the NHS is expected to achieve 80% uptake.

A spokeswoman for the NHS said:

"Breast cancer survival is at a record high in England with deaths falling faster than anywhere else in Europe, thanks to earlier detection and advances in treatment.

"It is vital that women attend their test and the NHS is looking at ways to boost uptake, including by making appointments more convenient, as set out by Professor Sir Mike Richards in his recent review of screening services."

Breast Unit Opening March 2017 5 (Faye Marsh)
The machine used to look at breast tissue at Salisbury's new breast unit.


In Wiltshire, the uptake rate has fallen from a peak of 77% in 2013-14.

The breast screening programme uses an X-ray test called a mammogram to detect tumours before they are large enough to feel.

Detecting the disease early on gives a better chance of survival.

Dr Anne Mackie, director of screening at Public Health England, says

"While screening is a personal choice, we are analysing the barriers that deter some groups of women, to help the NHS improve overall numbers getting screened."


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