Election 2016: Breast Cancer Services Questions for Candidates

The general election will be held on Friday 26th February 2016. This presents opportunities to meet with political candidates ‘on the doorstep’ and ask specific questions regarding the quality and delivery of breast cancer services in Ireland.

Here, we have compiled a list of questions regarding current issues. You can also download and print these questions so that you can have them to hand if you are speaking with candidates.

When will breast screening be extended to age 69?

Currently breast screening finishes at age 64. The programme for government promised that screening would be extended to age 69, as recommended in European guidelines. According to www.breastcheck.ie “BreastCheck is being extended and by the end of 2021, all eligible women aged 50 to 69 will be invited for routine screening.” This rate of change is too slow and will result in diagnosis later than should be the case. Also many women believe that their risk goes down after 64, when in fact it increases.

When will all Specialist Breast Centres include psycho-oncology services?

All women should have the option of receiving psycho-oncology services and this is not currently the case.

When will all Specialist Breast Centres include lymphoedema services?

Lymphoedema is an ongoing risk for all women who have had breast surgery but lymphoedema services are very patchy.

When will all Specialist Breast Centres be able to offer women the choice of reconstructive surgery?

Specialist breast reconstructive surgery is not available in all Specialist Breast Centres.

Provision of bras and prostheses

The provision of bras and prostheses for women who have mastectomies varies between different HSE areas and this is most unsatisfactory.

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