The NHS breast-screening programme detected 10 per cent more cancers over the past year compared to 1998-99, and now exceeds the performance of the original study on which the programme was based, according to its latest annual report. The report, out last week, shows that the detection rate is now 13 per cent higher than in the original Swedish trials. A total of 8,771 cancers were detected last year, of which 3,722 were smaller than 15mm and so could not be detected by touch. Most cancers were detected in women returning for re-screening. The number of women aged 65 and over who were screened rose to over 100,000.The programme is now being extended to include women aged up to 70.

Reducing the Risk. www.cancerscreening.nhs.uk