Urgent Warning to Thousands Missing Life-Saving Cancer Screenings – Are You at Risk?
THOUSANDS missed lives saved mammograms After changes to breast cancer screening program, new research suggests.
Before the pandemic, all women aged 50 and over received a letter with a window for their breast cancer screening appointment.
And they would get the second one with a new time slot if they didn’t attend.
But a change in policy after the pandemic meant women can no longer get scheduled appointments, meaning they have to call and book one themselves as soon as they get one letter in the mail.
New research has found the change has resulted in fewer women receiving life-saving breast cancer screening.
A study of the new policy, conducted by Queen Mary University of London and NHS England, estimated that 12,000 women in London missed breast screenings in just seven months due to open invitations.
Around 240,000 women in London were included in the study, which was published in Journal of Medical Screening.
It found that only 53 percent of women who received an open invitation showed up for a mammogram.
In comparison, 60 percent of those who were given an appointment showed up for the screening.
Upscaling these results to women in England suggests that around 100,000 women a year go without mammograms and that 700 cases nationwide could be missed, the researchers said post.
The study’s lead investigator, Professor Stephen Duffy of the Wolfson Institute of Population Health, Queen Mary University, said that while staff at the NHS breast screening program have worked tirelessly to recover from a drop in intake during the pandemic , but it is time to address the question of “how best to do this”. increase the number of women who are screened and not just invited”.
“One potential solution would be to return to scheduled appointments,” he said.
It comes after former Dragon’s Den star Kelly Hoppen revealed she missed routine mammogram appointments for eight straight years before her cancer was discovered.
breast cancer now pointed out that the move to an open invitation system had “adversely affected” attendance at the performance and “made it more difficult for women to arrange and attend performances.”
Many women also told the charity that they could not reach their local breast screening service to make an appointment or were told appointments were not available, she added.
Professor Gareth Evans, an expert in breast cancer screening at the University of Manchester, also urged NHS England to return scheduled appointments to all women invited for a mammogram.
“Health psychology shows that when people are asked to show up for an appointment at a certain time, they are more likely to be there,” he explained.
“If they have to book their own appointment, chances are they won’t get to it.”
previous research from Queen Mary University suggested that issuing screening invitations every four years instead of three could increase admission rates.
NHS England urged women to make appointments for breast checks in February almost four out of 10 waived the potentially life-saving offer in 2022.
The health agency sent out a record 3.17 million invitations, but only a “slight increase” in the number of women attending breast exams compared to last year.
In the UK, around 55,000 women and 370 men are diagnosed with breast cancer each year.
Early detection of the disease through screening increases survival rates, while surgery followed by radiation and chemotherapy can eradicate the tumor.
However, when the cancer has already spread to other parts of the body – known as secondary breast cancer – there is no cure, although people can survive for years with treatment.
National cancer survival figures in England show that 91 per cent of women diagnosed with early stage breast cancer, when the tumor is small, have a survival rate of at least five years.
The 5-year survival rate for diagnosis at a late stage when the cancer has spread to other parts of the body (stage 4) is 39 percent.
If you are aged 50 and over and registered with a GP, you will automatically be invited for a breast exam every three years until you are 71 years old. NHS guidance called.
If you’re trans or non-binary, you may need to speak to your GP or call your local breast screening service to ask for an appointment, it said.
Contact your local breast screening service if you are 53 and have not received your written invitation or if it has been more than three years since your last screening.
You can still book Even if you were invited weeks or months ago, the NHS added.
Am I at risk of breast cancer?
Although it’s not known exactly what causes breast cancer, there are certain factors that could increase your risk, such as:
- Age – the risk increases with age
- a family history of breast cancer
- a previous diagnosis of breast cancer
- a previous noncancerous (benign) breast lump
- be tall, overweight or obese
- drink alcohol
Studies have also shown that taking birth control pills can increase your risk of breast cancer by 23 to 32 percent.
breast cancer now said everyone can take steps to reduce their risk of breast cancer by making small healthy changes and living well now, including drinking less alcohol, maintaining a healthy weight and staying physically active.
Most of us will know that one of the first noticeable symptoms of breast cancer is a lump or area of thickened breast tissue.
But NHS noted that the disease may have multiple symptomsincluding:
- Changes in the size and shape of one or both breasts
- Discharge from your nipples – these may be streaked with blood
- a lump or swelling in one of your armpits
- Wrinkles or dimples in the skin of your breasts
- a rash (like eczema) on or around your nipple
- a change in the appearance of your nipple, such as B. a sinking into your chest
How can I check my own breasts?
Every breast is different in size, shape and consistency.
One of your breasts may be larger than the other, and the sensation may change at different times of the month.
For example, around the time of your period, you might have tender and lumpy breasts, especially near the armpit.
And after menopause, they may feel softer, less firm, and not as lumpy.
The NHS encourages you to get used to these changes so you can recognize when something doesn’t look or feel normal to you.
You should be looking at your breasts and feeling each one, from your armpit to your collarbone.
The easiest way to do this is in the shower or bath, running a soapy hand over each breast.
- Feel your chest in circular motions
- feel under your arm
- feel behind the nipple
You can also look at your breasts in the mirror. Look with your arms at your side and also with your arms raised.
You should see a GP if you have any of these symptoms, NHS guidance specified.
It found that most breast lumps are not cancerous and that breast pain in itself is not usually a sign of the disease.
Breast cancer that is detected early has a good chance of recovery, so it is important to check the breast regularly and have any changes examined by a doctor.
https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/health/10462545/breast-cancer-risk-women-missing-out-on-mammograms/ Urgent Warning to Thousands Missing Life-Saving Cancer Screenings – Are You at Risk?