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Breast Cancer

The UK NSC policy on Breast Cancer screening in women over 50

Policy

 
Type Adult
Last review completed October 2012
Next review due in 2015/16
Policy recommendation     Systematic population screening programme recommended
 

Screening is recommended by the UK NSC.

 
Key downloads Last external review - Review on the benefits and harms of breast cancer screening
 

What is screening?

Screening is a process of identifying apparently healthy people who may be at increased risk of a disease or condition. They can then be offered information, further tests and appropriate treatment to reduce their risk and/or any complications arising from the disease or condition. It is important to ensure that the benefits and downsides of screening have been properly thought through. The UK National Screening Committee (UK NSC) is responsible for reviewing screening policies every 3 years and making recommendations to ministers in the 4 UK countries about whether to not a screening programme for a certain condition should be set up.

» Find out more about screening, the role of the UK NSC or the policy review process

More about Breast Cancer

In the UK, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women. Approximately 45,000 cases of breast cancer are diagnosed every year, usually in women who are over 50 years of age and who have reached menopause. However, it is possible for women of any age to be affected by breast cancer and, in rare cases, the condition can also affect men.

Structure of the breasts

Image © Clinical Skills Ltd and provided courtesy of Cancerbackup.

» Read more about breast cancer screening on NHS Choices

» Read more about breast cancer on Cancerbackup

Screening in the UK

Compare how screening is offered across the UK.

Policy stakeholders

Breast Cancer Care
The British Association for Cancer Research
British Association of Surgical Oncology
Cancer Research UK
Royal College of Physicians
Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
Royal College of Surgeons

The stakeholder groups will be involved when the policy is next reviewed. If you think your organisation should be added, please contact us. More about the policy review process, including the role of stakeholders, can be found in the guide to Engaging with the UK NSC's policy review process.

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