Research Article

National Health Service breast screening programme results for 1991-2.

BMJ 1993; 307 doi: (Published 07 August 1993) Cite this as: BMJ 1993;307:353

This article has a correction. Please see:

  1. J Chamberlain,
  2. S M Moss,
  3. A E Kirkpatrick,
  4. M Michell,
  5. L Johns
  1. Cancer Screening Evaluation Unit, Institute of Cancer Research, Sutton, Surrey.


    OBJECTIVES--To report the results of the NHS breast screening programme for the year March 1991 to April 1992. DESIGN--A report of statistics was derived from Körner (K62) returns and from the radiology quality assurance programme. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Detection rates for breast cancer and small (< or = 10 mm diameter) invasive cancer, benign biopsy rates, and recall and acceptance rates. RESULTS--The acceptance rate for screening across the United Kingdom was 71.3%. The referral rate for further investigation was 6.2% (regional 4.3-9.0%). The breast cancer detection rate was 6.2 cancers per 1000 women screened (5.1-9.0) and the detection rate of invasive cancers < or = 10 mm was 1.4/1000 (1.0-2.3). 72% of screening programmes reached the target 70% acceptance rate, and 95% of programmes achieved a recall rate of less than 10%. 75% of programmes had a cancer detection rate of more than 5/1000, but only 32% had a detection rate for invasive cancers < or = 10 mm of more than 1.5/1000. CONCLUSIONS--Overall, the results of the screening programme for the year 1991-2 can be regarded as extremely satisfactory, given the size and complexity of the operation.