Significant drop in breast cancer death rates and rise in screening

Breast cancer related deaths in Scotland have fallen by more 25 percent since 1990, figures out today show.

Breast cancer deaths in women aged between 55 and 69 decreased by 27.9% between 1990 and 2002.

The latest statistic from The Scottish Breast Screening Programme indicate that more women are also attending routine screening appointments.

Kate Law, Cancer Research UK's head of clinical trials, said: "The fall in deaths from breast cancer is great news for Scottish women, as is the increase in the numbers attending screening.

"There's no doubt that the screening programme has made a significant contribution to the fall in deaths, as has better breast awareness, treatment by multidisciplinary teams and the widespread use of drugs such as tamoxifen."

Between 1991 and 1992 89,450 women attended breast cancer screenings, the figure rose to 109,756 between 2002 and 2003

Pamela Goldberg, CEO of Breast Cancer Campaign, said: "Breast Cancer Campaign continues to urge women to continue to be breast aware, to know what is normal for them, attend routine screening, and to report any changes to their GP without delay.

"The statistics' report that an unprecedented 71.5% - and rising - of Scottish women are now attending routine screening appointments, is very encouraging."

The Scottish Breast Screening Programme (SBSP) was set up in 1988.

Since the SBSP was established, the way in which women with abnormalities on their mammograms are assessed has developed from a basic follow-up visit and then referral to a consultant if necessary, to assessment clinics involving a range of investigative procedures.

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