Socioeconomic gradients in uptake of breast cancer screening in the United Kingdom should, intuitively, lead to socioeconomic gradients in disease progression at diagnosis. However, studies have found little evidence of such an effect. Although this could be interpreted as evidence that socioeconomic gradients in uptake of screening do not have clinically important consequences, all of the published studies have used data from before (pre-1988) or during the early stages (1988-95) of implementation of the national breast cancer screening programme. We investigated the relation between socioeconomic position and progression of breast cancer at diagnosis by using recent data from the Northern and Yorkshire Cancer Registry and Information Service (NYCRIS), which is estimated to achieve around 93% ascertainment
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