Why we conduct this screening

In the Netherlands, 1 in 7 women develops breast cancer. The health screening aims to detect breast cancer at the earliest possible stage. This increases the chances of successful treatment and also often means that a less invasive treatment is required. All women aged between 50 to 75 years receive an invitation to participate in screening every 2 years. If you participate, we will take an X-ray, or mammogram, of your breasts. This enables us to see if you have breast cancer, before you have noticed anything yourself.
How does the screening work?

Proven effective


1.3 million invitations

The number of women who received an invitation in 2018. 1.300.000 women received an invitation in 2018.


1 million participants

In 2016, 1 million women participated in the breast cancer population screening. This is 77.3% of all women invited.


69 screening centres

There are 69 screening centres in the Netherlands; 59 mobile and 10 permanent. The aim of the mobile screening centres is to offer the screening as close to home as possible.



Of every 1,000 women who participate in the study, 24.3 are referred for further research in the hospital (= 2.4%). Of these referred women, 6.8 women appear to have breast cancer. For 17.5 women, this is a different, innocent defect such as a cyst.

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