Extension of BreastCheck to women aged 65-69

BreastCheck is being extended to include women aged 65 to 69. By the end of 2021, all women aged 65-69 will be invited for free routine mammograms as part of the BreastCheck programme.

Much of 2015 will be spent planning for the extension. Screening of the first women aged 65-69 will start in late 2015. BreastCheck is very clear that it will take six years (until 2021) to reach all women aged 65-69.

To prepare, BreastCheck will substantially increase its staff levels to accommodate the additional screening safely and effectively, without impacting the current two year screening interval. Staff to be recruited will include radiographers for the screening and mobile units, as well as medical consultants and administration support.

The aim of BreastCheck is to detect breast cancers at the earliest possible stage. At this point, a detected cancer is usually easier to treat and there are greater treatment options.

Currently BreastCheck screens women aged 50 to 64. With the programme extending to include women aged from 50 to 69, the number of women eligible for BreastCheck will be approximately 540,000 women, an increase of 41 per cent.

Not all women aged 50-64 currently take up their screening invitation. BreastCheck strongly encourages all women to attend when invited. An appointment only takes half an hour. It’s quick, it’s easy, it’s free and it might save your life.