800 Cancers Detected By BreastCheck In 2011

Over 800 women were found to have breast cancer after availing of free mammograms by BreastCheck in 2011, a new report has shown.


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Over 800 women were found to have breast cancer after availing of free mammograms by BreastCheck in 2011, a new report has shown.

BreastCheck – the National Breast Screening Programme – offers women aged between 50 and 64 free breast screening, as part of the National Cancer Screening Service (NCSS).

It has just published its 2011-2012 Programme Report, which reveals that 125,329 women availed of free mammograms in 2011. Of these, over 5,200 were recalled for assessment and 832 women were found to have breast cancer.

Just over 72% of women who were invited to take part accepted the invitation. This is in excess of the programme's acceptance target of 70%.

For more than 37,000 women taking part, this was their first BreastCheck mammogram, while the remaining women had undergone at least one other mammogram with the programme.

According to Majella Byrne, acting director of the NCSS, uptake remains highest among younger women who have been invited for the first time. However, she did express concern about the ‘continued fall in uptake among women invited for the first time in all age groups compared to previous years'.

"In Ireland, over 2,700 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year and the cumulative risk increases with age. Screening aims to detect breast cancer at the earliest stage when treatment is likely to be more successful and less extensive and we would like women to consider this when deciding whether to participate in screening," Ms Byrne commented.

Meanwhile according to BreastCheck's lead clinical director, Dr Ann O'Doherty, when women are diagnosed with cancer following a mammogram, ‘a significant improvement has been made in terms of the percentage of women with cancer offered hospital admission within three weeks of diagnosis'.

"This is just outside of the standard of 90%, a significant improvement on last year and we are grateful for the ongoing collaboration with host hospitals to develop a service response to this issue," she said.

BreastCheck began screening in 2000 and up until the end of 2011, over 371,000 women have availed of almost 836,000 mammograms. Almost 5,500 breast cancers have been detected during this period.

[Posted: Tue 19/02/2013 by Deborah Condon www.irishhealth.com]

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