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NCSS Welcomes Findings of NHS Breast Screening Review

The National Cancer Screening Service (NCSS) which encompasses BreastCheck – The National Breast Screening Programme today welcomed the findings of the NHS breast screening programme review.

 NCSS supports the finding that it is vital to give women information that is clear and accessible before they go for a mammogram so they can understand both the potential harms and benefits of the process.

BreastCheck has a clear commitment to provide easy-to-understand, transparent information about the breast screening process to women who are invited for screening. At present women who would like more detailed information about DCIS and the benefits and limits of breast screening are directed to the BreastCheck Freephone information line or the website for a detailed factsheet.

In addition to general information about the breast screening process, the leaflets advise that women of any age can get breast cancer – but that the risk increases with age, that not all breast cancers can be found by a mammogram, that some women may find the mammogram painful and that some non-invasive cancers (known as DCIS) will be found by screening.
BreastCheck leaflets are developed in conjunction with the National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA), are regularly reviewed and updated and BreastCheck will again consider the information provided by the programme in light of the findings of the NHS Breast Screening Review. Every woman invited for screening receives two information leaflets directly by post in advance of their appointment.

BreastCheck provides free mammograms to women aged 50-64 on an area-by-area basis every two years. The aim of BreastCheck is to detect breast cancers at the earliest possible stage – often before a woman experiences any symptoms. At this early stage, a woman has greater treatment options available to her and her chosen treatment is likely to be less extensive and more successful.

As with many cancers, early diagnosis and prompt treatment gives the best chance of a good outcome. In Ireland, breast screening is just one element of a quality assured and comprehensive cancer control programme. Breast cancer survival rates are improving as a combined result of screening, early detection and better and more effective treatment options.
Since BreastCheck began screening in February 2000 to end September 2011, the programme has provided 800,452 mammograms to 362,701 women and detected 4,917 breast cancers.


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