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Screening cuts breast cancer death rate

By Jennifer Cockerell

Published 04/06/2015

Breast cancer screening between the ages of 50 and 69 leads to a 40% reduction in women dying of the disease, according to a major international review.

Overall, women invited to attend mammography screening have a 23% reduction in breast cancer death compared with women not invited by routine screening programmes.

In the UK, this risk translates to around eight deaths prevented per 1,000 women attending screening, the findings published in the New England Journal of Medicine said.

Overall, the researchers said screening detects breast cancers that would never have been diagnosed if the women had not been checked. Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in the UK and in 2011, just under 50,000 women were diagnosed.

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