Breast Screening Awareness

Breast Screening AwarenessBreast Screening Awareness

The NHS National Breast Screening Programme invites women to attend breast screening between the ages of 50 to <71 (every three years).

Data from NHS Digital* shows that in 2019-2020

  • 2.21 million women were screened in England, a 5% decrease from the previous year
  • 69.1% of women took up their invitation for screening, a 2% decrease from the previous year
  • Uptake of screening was much lower in several areas e.g. 61% in Greater Manchester and 51.4% in Central and East London

Prevent Breast Cancer is committed to improving the uptake of breast screening in the Greater Manchester area – where the charity is based.

We want to equip women with the knowledge to be breast aware – aware of the risk, signs and symptoms and the importance of breast screening.

Breast Screening Awareness

Since 2019 we have organised two pilot roadshow events during October, Breast Cancer Awareness month. The roadshows have been based in and around Greater Manchester in areas with high footfall including Manchester Piccadilly Train Station, Manchester Airport and various supermarket car-parks in areas where uptake of screening is particularly low.

Our goal is to successfully demonstrate how tailored communication campaigns including workshops and roadshows can make a positive difference by pro-actively addressing some of the barriers that prevent women from attending breast screening.

By collaborating with local community groups and charities in other areas, our hope is that this work could eventually be rolled out across the UK.

We are incredibly thankful for the expertise and collaboration of the NHS breast cancer screening improvement leads at The Nightingale Centre and to Answer Cancer who we worked closely with to ensure our pilot roadshow was successful.

Due to the pandemic there is backlog of thousands of women who have missed their breast screening appointments and it is vitally important that we invest more time and resource into our awareness and outreach work during 2021-2022 and beyond.

Breast Screening Awareness

Related work – Asian Women’s Health Awareness

Studies have shown that in the Greater Manchester area, many women of Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnicity are not attending breast screening.

In 2019 we commissioned a short three-minute film (available in English, Urdu and Bengali), which aims to increase understanding and take up of breast screening among South Asian women. The film was developed following previous research we have undertaken and a series of workshops we ran with medical professionals, community ambassadors and communications experts.

Our plan was to show the film as an advert on a selection of Asian tv channels whilst running a grassroots campaign in the areas of Greater Manchester where uptake is lower than the national average. However due to the pandemic the screening programme was temporarily stopped for approximately four months and we were therefore unable to proceed.

We are currently in the process of reviewing our approach, and aligning it with our plans to launch a grass roots campaign in 2021-2022, where we will utilise the video content we have created.

If you are interested in finding out more about this important work and would like to get involved, please email