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BACKGROUND: We have developed the Promoting Early Presentation (PEP) Intervention to equip older women with the knowledge, skills, confidence and motivation to present promptly with breast symptoms, and thereby improve survival from breast cancer. The PEP Intervention consists of a 10-min interaction between a radiographer and an older woman, supported by a booklet. Our previous report showed that at 1 year, the PEP intervention increased the proportion who were breast cancer aware compared with usual care. METHODS: We randomised 867 women aged 67-70 years attending for their final routine appointment on the National Health Service Breast Screening Programme to receive the PEP Intervention, a booklet alone or usual care. The primary outcome was breast cancer awareness measured using a validated questionnaire asking about knowledge of breast cancer symptoms, knowledge that the risk of breast cancer increases with age and breast checking behaviour. RESULTS: At 2 years, the PEP Intervention increased the proportion who were breast cancer aware compared with usual care (21 vs 6%; odds ratio 8.1, 95% confidence interval 2.7-25.0). CONCLUSIONS: The uniquely large and sustained effect of the PEP Intervention on breast cancer awareness increases the likelihood that a woman will present promptly should she develop breast cancer symptoms up to many years later.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Cancer

Publication Date





18 - 21


Aged, Awareness, Breast Neoplasms, Early Diagnosis, Early Intervention (Education), Female, Follow-Up Studies, Health Education, Humans