Skip to main content

Breast Cancer: Screening

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 94558, tabled on 16 December 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the evidence base is for the policy of offering mammograms at three year intervals on the NHS, and if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of offering those tests more frequently.

Answered on

5 January 2022

The UK National Screening Committee’s recommendation to routinely offer women in the United Kingdom breast screening at three yearly intervals was adopted following the Swedish Two-County Trial. This showed a substantial reduction in the numbers of women dying of breast cancer with an interval of just under three years in women 50 years of age and over. A UK Frequency Trial on breast screening also showed little benefit in terms of lives saved from offering more regular screening.

Screening intervals are kept under regular review. A proposal to change the current screening interval from three yearly would be for the UK National Screening Committee to consider through its programme modification proposal process.