Cyprus breast cancer screening rates among worst in EU

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The proportion of women aged 50-69 who were screened for breast cancer (mammography) within a two-year period was only 34.8% in Cyrus, the 4th lowest in the EU.

The screening ranged from 0.2% in Romania (bottom) to 82.1% in Denmark (top), according to figures released today by Eurostat.

Based on screening programmes, eight Member States had breast cancer screening rates below 50%, with the lowest rates in Romania (0.2% of women aged 50-69 – 2015 data), Bulgaria (20.6%) and Slovakia (30.7%).

Greece along with Spain, Portugal and Austria did not provide any data.

Four member states reported breast cancer screening rates of 75% or above: Denmark (82.1% in 2016), Finland (81.9%), the Netherlands (78.2% in 2015) and the United Kingdom (75.1%).

Breast cancer screening rates increased between 2012 and 2017 in almost half (10) of the 22 EU Member States for which data are available, with relatively large increases — double-digits in percentage point terms — in Latvia and Lithuania.

There was no change in the screening rate in Croatia. In the 11 remaining Member States where screening rates fell, the reductions were usually relatively small; Germany (-5.3 percentage points; 2012-2016) and Luxembourg (-8.4 percentage points) recorded the biggest contractions.

In Finland, Sweden, Portugal, Czechia, Austria and France, the share of women that had never had such an examination was below 5% and in 10 other EU states, it was within the range of 5-10%.

At the other end of the scale, more than one-fifth of women in Latvia and Lithuania, 35.3% of women in Bulgaria, and 79% of women in Romania in this age group had never had such an examination.

In nearly all of the EU Member States for which data for 2014 are available, the proportion of women having had an X-ray within the previous two years was lowest among those having completed at most a lower secondary education: the only exceptions to this were Germany, Luxembourg and Portugal where the lowest proportions were recorded among women with a tertiary education.

However, more generally the share of women having had an X-ray examination tended to be higher among those with a higher level of educational attainment.

This was particularly notable in those countries where a relatively low share of women aged 50-69 years had had an X-ray, for example, in Bulgaria and Romania, as well as in Cyprus, Greece, Poland and Latvia.

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