March 31, 2010 - When given the option, younger women are likely to attend breast screenings, according to the findings of a study of 50,000 women published today in the Journal of Medical Screening.
Scientists at The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) led a trial involving 23 National Health Service (NHS) breast screening units across England, Wales and Scotland that invited women aged in their forties to undergo regular mammograms. Between 1991 and 2004, more than 50,000 women aged 40 or 41 were invited to begin regular annual screening up to age 48.
Each particular round of screening invitations received a response of about 69 per cent. About 81 per cent of the women attended at least one routine screen, while about half attended at least six screens.
The NHS Breast Screening Program currently provides free mammograms every three years for all women in the U.K. aged 50 and over. By 2012, the United Kingdom (U.K.) is planning to reduce the minimum age of women invited to screenings to 47, so the results of this study are relevant to the future of the U.K. screening program.
For more information: www.icr.ac.uk/