Women over the age of 40 can benefit from a new breast cancer screening service launched by Bupa.
The private healthcare firm's Cromwell Hospital in London has launched the screening service to offer women the option to have a test ten years before it would be made commonly available by state healthcare.
'State of the art' digital mammography is particularly effective at finding small changes in younger women's breast tissue, which could go some way to diagnosing the one-fifth of breast cancer cases that occur in women aged under 50.
Harriet Kennedy, clinical nurse specialist for breast care at Bupa, commented: "Early detection is vital when treating breast cancer, and that's why we've made this service available almost ten years before it would be elsewhere.
"The service will provide peace of mind as patients will receive the quickest possible diagnosis if any abnormalities are found."
Recent data found that less that 75 per cent of women aged between 53 and 70 in London have had a routine mammogram, suggesting that the capital is in need of better screening services.