Breast Cancer Screening over 70

this image shows the breast cancer pink ribbon

Breast cancer screening for women over 70

Women aged over 70 are not routinely invited for breast screening.  However they are still entitled to a breast screening and can call their local breast screening unit to request one every three years. Despite the recent controversy surrounding breast cancer screening women are still invited to choose whether they wish to be screened.

Around 1,300 lives are saved every year by mammography, which women are invited to undergo between the ages of 50 to 70, said the review, which recommends that screenings should continue.

But 4,000 women will undergo unnecessary treatment, including surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy, for a cancer they would not otherwise have known about and which would have done them no harm in their lifetime.

The government is embarking on an immediate revision of the leaflet which invites women for screening, said national cancer director Sir Mike Richards, so that women can weigh up the benefits against potential harm and make their own decision as to whether to be screened.

Much has changed since the early days of screening,although the numbers of advanced cancers have not dropped as a result of screening, he says – which was the main reason for setting up the programmes. “Screening has not reduced the number of advanced cancers per 100,000 women, and when that’s the case, screening cannot work,”

Three breast cancer charities in a joint statement said they urged women to go for screening. Breakthrough Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer Campaign and Breast Cancer Care said the review had provided much needed clarity.

“This is good news for women as they can now be assured that breast screening can be beneficial,” they said. “However, some women who attend screening may be diagnosed and treated for a cancer that may not have caused them harm in their lifetime. To ensure women understand what this may mean for them it is important they have access to clear and balanced information.

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Award-winning blogger and former care columnist for Devon Life magazine. I am passionate about helping elderly people and people with dementia live purposeful and independent lives.
Designer of the Dementia Assistance Card and Points Of Light award recipient, Caron hopes to help carers when resources are limited and demand is ever-increasing. I am here to support you.


  1. Thank you for taking the time to share this Kath. It is really lucky that your Mums friends were going and pestered her.Fingers crossed for the right result.

  2. My mum went for a mammogram by pure chance as 3of her friends were going and kept pestering her as she hadn’t been for one in nearly 10yrs. She is 80 yrs old later this year.
    Her X-ray showed a lump under her arm which she couldn’t feel but was diagnosed as cancerous. She had the lump removed last Monday and a gland which has been sent away for testing and she gets the results in a fortnight.
    She then starts her radiotherapy.
    Fingers crossed for a good result.

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