Figures give boost to cancer screening

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Screening prevented three- quarters of the potential number of cases of cervical cancer in 1992, a report revealed yesterday. But the audit by scientists from the Imperial Cancer Research Fund also said the NHS cervical screening programme needed further improvement.

A total of 24 health authorities and health boards throughout the UK took part in the audit to test whether it was possible to routinely assess the amount of cancer prevented. Screening histories of 348 women with invasive cervical cancer diagnosed in 1992 were compared with those of 677 healthy women. Results indicated that screening prevented between 1,100 and 3,900 cases in the UK in 1992 alone.