New figures from the BreastCheck cancer screening programme show it detected breast cancer in 845 women last year.

A total of 121,160 women were screened in 2009, with 5,600 recalled for assessment. 845 women were diagnosed with breast cancer, representing seven cancers per 1,000 women screened.

The overall acceptance of invitation to screening was 75.7%, in excess of the programme target of 70%.

65,572 of the women screened were new to the programme and 55,588 women had previously received at least one BreastCheck mammogram.

Tony O’Brien, National Cancer Screening Service Director said: 'The expansion of BreastCheck into the south and west of the country has resulted in BreastCheck providing free mammograms to almost twice as many women in comparison to the number of women screened in 2007.

'While the programme faced some challenges in expanding the service nationwide, I am delighted that we are now offering a fully quality assured breast screening service to all eligible women aged 50-64, regardless of their location.'

To date, BreastCheck has provided over 690,600 free mammograms to over 325,700 women and detected over 4,300 breast cancers.