Background: There is limited information about participation in organised population-wide screening programmes by people with disabilities.
Methods: Data from the National Health Service routine screening programmes in England were linked to information on disability reported by the Million Women Study cohort participants.
Results: Of the 473 185 women offered routine breast or bowel cancer screening, 23% reported some disability. Women with disabilities were less likely than other women to participate in breast cancer screening (RR=0.64, 95% CI: 0.62-0.65) and in bowel cancer screening (RR=0.75, 0.73-0.76). Difficulties with self-care or vision were associated with the greatest reduction in screening participation.
Conclusion: Participation in routine cancer screening programmes in England is reduced in people with disabilities and participation varies by type of disability.