20 December 2018

Responding to NHS Digital data revealing that uptake of routine breast screening invitations amongst women aged 50-70 has fallen to 70.5% Addie Mitchell, Clinical Nurse Specialist at Breast Cancer Care, says:

“Uptake of routine screening invitations in England has been gradually slipping year-on-year, and these troubling figures show we’re now only a hair's breadth above the minimum standard, the lowest level since the current programme began.

“And while screening is not a one-stop shop, as symptoms can occur at any time, mammograms remain the most effective tool at our disposal for detecting breast cancer at the earliest possible stage. Plus, screening often means simpler, more effective treatment, helping many women get back to themselves and day-to-day life sooner.   

“It’s important the ongoing review into the screening programme uncovers why more and more women are not attending appointments – be it fears about overtreatment1, or simply being too busy - so we can better understand whether everyone eligible has access to balanced, clear information to make the right choice for them.”   


For further information, please contact:

Georgia Tilley, Breast Cancer Care

020 3105 3360 (out of hours 07702 901 334)


Notes to editor

1. For every life saved by screening, three women will have unnecessary treatment.

About Breast Cancer Care

Breast Cancer Care is the only specialist UK wide charity providing support for women, men, family and friends affected by breast cancer. We’ve been caring for them, supporting them, and campaigning on their behalf since 1973.

Today, we continue to offer a unique range of support including reliable information, one-to-one support over the phone and online from nurses and people who’ve been there. We also offer local group support across the UK.

From the moment someone notices something isn’t right, through to their treatment and beyond, we’re there to help people affected by breast cancer feel more in control. breastcancernow.org