I analyse intertemporal decisions on undertaking breast cancer screening by women aged 50–64 years in the UK and provide estimates of the rate of discounting potential future benefits of screening. I also analyse education differences in mammography decisions and examine the underlying mechanisms by which education influences breast cancer screening attendance. I estimate a structural model, which reveals that although there are differences in the disutility of breast cancer screening between education groups, there is no difference in the estimated discount factor. These results suggest that the observed education gradient is mainly due to differences in health behaviours and healthcare attitudes. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.