The number of women aged 50 to 70 screened for breast cancer in the UK reached almost two million in 2009, according to latest statistics.
The NHS Breast Screening Programme 2009 Annual Review, published today, shows that 1,994,651 women were screened for breast cancer in 2009, an increase of more than 93,000 on the previous year.
Part of this increase can be attributed to the extension of the screening age, which will see all women aged 47 to 73 invited for screening.
Five units in Bolton, King’s College London, Coventry, Manchester and Guildford have been piloting the scheme ahead of national roll out.
NHS Cancer Screening Programme director Professor Julietta Patnick said it was “encouraging” to see the growing number of women being screened for breast cancer.
“We know early detection through regular screening saves an estimated 1,400 lives every year,” she said.
“Over the past year we have been working hard to implement the age extension to include women between 47 and 73 years old. The extension will guarantee all women will be screened at least once before the age of 50,” she added.