The Breast Test Wales Annual Statistical Report for 2017-2018 published by the Screening Division of Public Health Wales shows that more than 114,000 women in Wales attended a routine breast screening between April 2017 and March 2018.
Programme coverage on 31st March 2018 was 72.9% and exceeds the programme’s 70% minimum standard. Women aged 50-70 years registered with a general practitioner and who are resident in Wales are invited for a routine screening every 3 years.
A total of 1113 cancers were detected by the programme last year, or 9.8 cases per 1000 women screened. Of the 1113 cancers detected, 81.2% (904) were invasive lesions–cancers that have spread into surrounding, healthy tissue–465 of which were classified as small (less than 15 mm in size). The remaining 18.8% were non-invasive or micro-invasive disease.
Dean Phillips, Head of the Breast Test Wales programme, said: “It is pleasing to see more than 7 out of 10 women taking up the invitation to attend their routine screening.”
“We urge all women to carefully read the information provided with their invitation letter in order to make an informed choice on breast screening.”
Screening involves taking at least two mammograms (X-rays of each breast). Women are referred to an assessment clinic for more tests for any abnormalities suggestive of cancer observed on the mammogram. These tests may include more mammograms, a clinical examination, an ultrasound scan and possibly a needle biopsy.