8 October 2019

The percentage of women taking up routine breast screening for cancer has fallen, official statistics confirm.

New figures from ISD Scotland show only 71.2 per cent of women attended a routine breast screening appointment between 2015/16 to 2017/18, down from 74.9 per cent during the period from 2008/09 to 2010/11.

Four health boards, including some of the country’s largest boards, all failed to meet the minimum acceptable standards of 70%.

Women from more deprived areas are less likely to attend for breast screening, with under 6 in 10 women from the most deprived areas going for screening compared with almost 8 in 10 women living in the least deprived areas, a difference of over twenty percentage points.

Scottish Labour’s Health spokesperson Monica Lennon MSP said:

“Routine breast screening is crucial to catching cancer early and saving lives.

“That is why it is so disappointing to see that the uptake of breast screening is going backwards under the SNP.

“The country’s four largest health boards all failed to meet the minimum acceptable standard, and the poorest women are far less likely to attend these appointments than those from wealthier communities.

“Scotland needs to reverse this trend to save lives, and that should be a priority for the Health Secretary.”
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