Custom Search 1

Breast cancer screening scandal: 100s of women may have died

SCANDAL: Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has apologised

AROUND 270 women may have died after a computer error prevented them from being notified of their final breast cancer screenings.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has said that there will be an independent inquiry into the error, which is understood to have affected older women since 2009.

Screening invitations were not sent out to approximately 450,000 women aged 68 and over between 2009 and the beginning of 2018.

All women between 50 and 70 are invited to screenings for breast cancer by the NHS every three years.

Screenings can help cancers to be caught at an early stage, making them easier to treat.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Hunt said that between 135 and 270 women “may have had their lives shortened as a result” of the error.

Hunt apologised “wholeheartedly and unreservedly” for the suffering caused.

“Tragically there are likely to be some people in this group who would have been alive today if this failure had not happened,” he said.

Letters will be sent out women to notify them of missed screenings over the next few months. It is possible that women undergoing treatment for breast cancer or those who have been diagnosed with terminal cancer may also receive the letters.

In England, black women are almost twice as likely to be diagnosed with advanced breast cancer as white women, according to a 2016 study by Cancer Research UK and Public Health England.

Poor awareness of screening and breast cancer symptoms are among the reasons why the figures are so high among black women.

Read every story in our hardcopy newspaper for free by downloading the app.

Facebook Comments