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Further fall recorded in breast cancer screening rates

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The proportion of women screened for breast cancer in England has fallen for the third consecutive year, according to latest figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre.

A report published today by the centre shows that, as of the end of last March, almost 76% (4.28 million) of the 5.64 million eligible women aged 53 to 70 had been screened within the last three years.

This compares with 76.4% at the same point in 2013, 77% in 2012 and a peak of 77.2% in 2011.

Although coverage has fallen for the third year running, it remains above the NHS Cancer Screening Programme’s minimum standard of 70%.

Dr Christopher Runchel, research officer at Breakthrough Breast Cancer, said it was “disappointing” to see the slight decline in the proportion of women screened for breast cancer in England.

But he added: “Whilst it’s difficult to pinpoint the reason for this decline, the good news is that this figure is still above the NHS’ minimum standard of 70%.”

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