Breast cancer screening blunder ‘overstated’


Older lady carrying a mammogramImage copyright

An eccentric examination of breast screening in England has found that difficulty and disagreement were behind an proclamation in May that hundreds of thousands of women had missed out on final scans.

Jeremy Hunt, afterwards health secretary, pronounced that 450,000 women aged 68-71 were influenced since of a mechanism error.

But there was “no incident”, a news pronounced – usually “unacceptable” confusion.

Charities criticised a trouble and stress caused to many women.

The examination pronounced a difficulty stemmed from a request created in 2013 that pronounced women should be invited for screening “within 36 months of their prior screening, until they strech a age of 71” .

But this request was formed on a disagreement of how a programme was being delivered in use by internal screening units, who accepted a top age extent for screening to be 70.

The examination pronounced ministers and open health officials did not realize a request was not unchanging with past policy.

As a result, “women were poorly told they had missed a screening invitation”, a news authors said.

“In short, there was no occurrence and ministers were wrongly advised,” it adds.

No one chairman to blame

The examination was co-chaired by Lynda Thomas, from Macmillan, and Prof Martin Gore, from Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, with Peter Wyman, from a Care Quality Commission.

They resolved that no one chairman or physique was to censure for a confusion, though pronounced Public Health England was too delayed to work out what was going on and how to respond in May.

“This led to a open proclamation that not usually farfetched a scale of a occurrence and a probable implications, though inaccurately reported a cause,” a news said.

  • Breast screening ‘more damaging than good’
  • Breast screening: For and against
  • Why isn’t breast cancer screening totally reliable?

The news says NHS England has invited 62,000 women for a catch-up final screening.

The news pronounced a breast screening programme now indispensable “a re-set” and a Department of Health, Public Health England and NHS England should determine on a transparent and specific clarification of a ages when women would be invited for screening.


Report author Lynda Thomas pronounced a occurrence had caused stress to thousands of women.

“It is totally unsuitable that there was difficulty about what a breast screening programme should have been delivering. There needs to be clarity and importantly women need transparent information about what they should be means to expect.”

Prof Gore pronounced a NHS breast screening programme was one of a best in a universe though a systems and processes indispensable to be updated.

“It is essential that Public Health England as a matter of coercion works with a women they contacted and have been diagnosed with breast cancer, their families and their medical professionals to find out either they were spoiled by any errors in a breast screening programme and are given a support they need.”

Lady Morgan, arch executive during Breast Cancer Now, said: “After months of uncertainty, it is totally unsuitable – and intensely concerning – to learn that hundreds of thousands of women have been unnecessarily caused such poignant distress.

“This has been zero brief of a complement failure, precipitated by a miss of transparent tenure and clever care of a world-leading programme.

“It highlights a continued inability, amid constructional confusion, to guard what is function in a screening service.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here