Hong Kong Med J 2000;6:409-11 | Number 4, December 2000
Breast and cervical screening for women in the United Kingdom
J Patnick
NHS Cancer Screening Programme, The Manor House, 260 Ecclesall Road South, Sheffield, United Kingdom
Two fully fledged National Health Service cancer screening programmes are currently available in the United Kingdom: breast and cervical screening for women. Breast screening was introduced for women aged 50 years and older, following the publication of the Forrest report in 1986. It has recently been calculated that the breast screening programme in England and Wales has been responsible for around a third of the fall in the death rate from breast cancer among women aged between 55 and 69 years. The cervical screening programme did not have such a clear start and began rather haphazardly in the 1960s. The programme now prevents around 2000 cases of cervical cancer and saves around 1300 lives each year. The duty of the health professional is no longer seen as being to persuade a woman to accept screening, but rather to provide her with accurate information about screening and to assist her in understanding it.
Key words: Breast neoplasms/prevention & control; Cervix neoplasms/prevention & control; Mammography; Mass screening; Vaginal smears
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