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Thousands of West Norfolk women miss breast cancer screenings, figures show

By Lynn News Reporter

A consultant analysing a mammogram
A consultant analysing a mammogram

Thousands of women in West Norfolk missed their last screening for breast cancer, NHS figures show.

Women are invited for a screening every three years between the ages of 50 and 70, to try and catch cancer early.

But only 77.5 per cent of the 25,970 women in the West Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group area due a screening in the three years to the end of March took up the offer.

This means 5,851 women are not up to date with their checks.

However, the data shows the borough's take-up rate is higher than the national average of 72 per cent.

Take-up of the scans also rose slightly in the 12 months to March, although the current figure is below the record level of 78.3 per cent recorded in 2011-12.

The data measures how many eligible women were checked at least once in the three year period, meaning some women could be years overdue.

Almost a third of the 260 CCGs in England failed to meet the minimum coverage target of 70 per cent, while only one managed to pass the 80 per cent mark which the NHS is expected to reach.

Addie Mitchell, clinical nurse specialist at the charity Breast Cancer Care, said: “These troubling figures show we’re now only a hair’s breadth above the minimum standard.

Dr Anne Mackie, director of screening at Public Health England, said it was “concerning” that uptake has fallen, particularly among younger women invited for their first test.

She continued: “We are working hard with NHS and local community healthcare colleagues to understand why this might be and to make appointments as easy as possible to attend for all women who want to get screened.”


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