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The benefits of breast screening

The main benefit of breast screening for women who undergo regular mammography is that breast cancer can usually be detected early.

Early detection is important because there is strong evidence to show that earlier breast cancer detection leads to improved rates of survival1. In fact, a recent research study shows that the risk of death from breast cancer can be reduced by almost 50% by participating in a breast screening programme2.

A further benefit of regular breast screening is that women whose breast cancer is detected early, and who subsequently undergo treatment, may be able to avoid having the entire breast removed (via mastectomy) and may have a better chance of avoiding extensive lymph node surgery.

Macmillan Cancer state that 70% of women whose breast cancer is detected early through screening can have breast conserving surgery, compared to only 55% whose cancer is detected outside a screening programme.

The evidence for the benefits of breast screening is clear. It is what drives BreastHealth UK in our work with leading UK breast surgeons to save lives through early breast cancer detection.

Breast screening options

Mammograms are the only validated form of breast screening and are undergone by millions of women each year.

Despite its ability to detect many symptoms early, mammography can miss some types of breast cancers, even when they present as a lump or thickening in the breast.

For this reason, it is important that you are ‘breast aware’ and perform your own examination of your breasts in addition to your mammogram, or that you take other steps to monitor your breasts for changes.


For many women, self-examination can be difficult to perform and interpret. So for your assurance and peace of mind we offer the BreastCheck programme.

The BreastCheck programme offers regular clinical breast examinations with one of our specialist breast nurses as an effective way to monitor early changes in your breasts and help you in self-examination.

Make a BreastCheck appointment today by calling one of our client service managers on 0800 085 6616.

1Nystrom et al, Lancet 2002; 359:909-919

2Allgood et al, Br J Cancer. 2008 Jan 15:98(1):2006-9

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