South West London Breast Screening Programme
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About breast screening

The NHS Breast Screening Programme offers free breast screening to all women aged 50 - 70 once every three years. Annually, the national programme screens just under 2 million women each year and diagnoses about 14,000 breast cancers.

The aim of breast screening is to detect breast cancer at an early stage, often before the woman is aware of any problem. Early detection usually means simpler and more successful treatment. Scientific evidence shows that regular breast screening, between the ages of 50 - 70 years, reduces the death rate from breast cancer. Currently the NHS Breast Screening Programme saves an estimated 1,300 lives each year in England.

We provide breast screening for the west of London area and are based at Charing Cross Hospital. We invite more than 60,000 women for breast screening each year. To enable women to be screened closer to home, we have five screening sites across the region.

A research study is currently taking place across England that is looking at the potential risks and benefits of extending breast screening to women who are slightly younger or older than the current age group. In the area where you live, half of the women aged 47 to 49 and half of the women aged 71 to 73 are being randomly selected and invited for screening. This will enable researchers to compare over the following years, for each separate age range, those women invited for screening and those women in the groups not invited for screening. Any women who accepts the invitation will be screened in the normal way. Women in these age groups that are not invited can ask to be screened.

The NHS Breast Screening Programme is subject to monitoring by the Quality Assurance Reference Centre (QARC) which ensures rigorous quality assurance standards are maintained.


Pioneering study at Charing Cross Hospital

A new clinical research study is currently taking place in the breast screening assessment clinic at Charing Cross Hospital.

Click here for details

Breast screening age extension trial

A new leaflet has recently been published about the breast screening age extension trial that is currently taking place.

Click here to download the leaflet

Informed Choice about Cancer Screening

Informed Choice about Cancer Screening has developed a new approach to information about cancer screening in England. It aims to provide people with what they need to make their own decision about whether or not to have cancer screening.

For more information click here.

Independent review into breast screening

In October 2012, an independent review into the effectiveness of the NHS Breast Screening Programme published its findings.

Find out more here

Click here for old news.

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