Skip to main content
National Statistics
Publication, Part of

Breast Screening Programme, England - 2013-14

National statistics, Official statistics
Publication Date:
Geographic Coverage:
Geographical Granularity:
Country, Government Office Regions, Regions, Local Authorities
Date Range:
01 Apr 2013 to 31 Mar 2014


Women between the ages of 50 and 70 are invited for regular breast screening (every three years) under a national programme. Screening is intended to reduce mortality by detecting breast cancer at an early stage when there is a better chance of successful treatment. This report presents information about the NHS Breast Screening Programme in England in 2013-14 and includes data on women invited for breast screening, coverage, uptake of invitations, outcomes of screening and cancers detected.


  • Coverage of women aged 53-70 was 75.9 per cent at 31 March 2014, compared with 76.4 per cent at the same point in 2013, 77.0 per cent in 2012 and a peak of 77.2 per cent in 2011. Although coverage has fallen for the third year running, it is still above the NHS Cancer Screening Programmes' minimum standard of 70 per cent.
  • In total, 2.08 million women aged 45 and over were screened within the programme in 2013-14. This compares with 1.97 million in 2012-13.
  • Uptake of routine invitations amongst women aged 50-70 has fallen for the third successive year. In 2013-14, 72.1 per cent took up their invitation to be screened and were screened adequately within six months of invitation. This compares with 72.2 per cent in 2012-13 and 73.1 per cent in 2011-12. 
  • A total of 17,961 women aged 45 and over had cancers detected by the screening programme in 2013-14, a rate of 8.6 cases per 1,000 women screened. This compares with 16,432 women with cancers detected in 2012-13 (a rate of 8.3 cases per 1,000 women screened).
  • The aim of breast screening is to reduce mortality by finding breast cancer at an early stage when any changes in the breast are often too small to feel. Of all women with cancers detected in 2013-14, 39.9 per cent (7,175 women) had invasive but small cancers (less than 15mm in diameter), that are usually too small to detect by hand. This compares with 40.0 per cent (6,565 women) in 2012-13.


Related Links

Last edited: 14 September 2020 3:37 pm