Breast Screening
Cervical Screening
Bowel Screening
Diabetic Retina Screening


BreastCheck Publishes 2009-2010 Programme Report

121,160 Women Receive BreastCheck Mammogram

BreastCheck – The National Breast Screening Programme today published its 2009-2010 Programme Report providing screening statistics for women who were invited for screening in 2009.

Free mammograms were provided to 121,160 women aged 50-64 – the highest number of women screened by the programme to date, and almost double the number of women screened in 2007. The overall acceptance of invitation to screening was 75.7 per cent, in excess of the programme target of 70 per cent.

Of the 121,160 women screened, 5,600 were re-called for assessment. Eight hundred and forty five women were diagnosed with breast cancer, representing 7.0 cancers per 1,000 women screened, compared to 7.3 cancers per 1,000 in 2008.

Sixty five thousand, five hundred and seventy two of the women screened were new to the programme and 55,588 women had previously received at least one BreastCheck mammogram.

The uptake of first screening invitation continues to be highest in the youngest age group (50-54) and the majority of women screened for the first time are in this age bracket. For subsequent invitations (women who have previously been screened by BreastCheck), there is little difference between the age groups, with a high rate of uptake recorded across all.

In brief:

  • BreastCheck screened 121,160 women, compared to 92,061 women in 2008 and 66,527 women screened in 2007 – reflecting the expansion of the programme
  • 845 breast cancers were detected, compared to 672 cancers in 2008 and 396 cancers in 2007
  • 75.7% of eligible women invited for screening accepted their invitation
  • There were 7 cancers detected per 1,000 women screened

Commenting on the publication of the report, Tony O’Brien, Director of the National Cancer Screening Service said: “The expansion of BreastCheck into the south and west of the country has resulted in BreastCheck providing free mammograms to almost twice as many women in comparison to the number of women screened in 2007. Over 121,000 women attended a BreastCheck appointment, representing a 32 per cent increase on 2008 and an 82 per cent increase on 2007. The programme is performing consistently well against the majority of commitments in the BreastCheck Women’s Charter. While the programme faced some challenges in expanding the service nationwide, I am delighted that we are now offering a fully quality assured breast screening service to all eligible women aged 50-64, regardless of their location”.

There was a significant increase in the numbers of women invited or screened for the first time, reflecting the expansion of the programme into new screening areas. The acceptance rate of invitation among eligible women has improved in those invited for the first time. Among those women who have previously not attended, the acceptance rate is low and continues to fall. This is due to persistent non-attendance by some women who neither attend their screening appointment when invited or opt out of the programme. As a result they continue to be invited for screening. The acceptance rate of invitation continues to be high among those women who have previously attended at least one BreastCheck appointment.

To date, BreastCheck has provided over 690,600 free mammograms to over 325,700 women and detected over 4,300 breast cancers.


Download a PDF of the report here.

For further information:
Sheila Caulfield/Clare Manning, Communications, National Cancer Screening Service,
Tel: 01-8659300


- back to top