Local MP joins Breakthrough Breast Cancer in calling for effective roll out of digital mammography

May 16, 2008 4:05 PM
Breakthrough Breast Cancer

Mark helping Breakthrough Breast Cancer celebrate 20 years of the Breast Cancer screening programme.

Mark Hunter, MP for Cheadle, joined forces with the UK's leading breast cancer charity, Breakthrough Breast Cancer and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Breast Cancer at their annual Westminster reception to congratulate the NHS Breast Screening Programme on its 20th anniversary - and to highlight a key challenge that lies ahead for the Screening Programme with the effective roll out of digital mammography.

Currently, most breast screening involves taking an x-ray of the breast - a mammogram - and capturing the image on film. However, since breast screening was introduced 20 years ago technology has moved on with the development of digital mammography. This technique has a number of advantages over film-screen mammography including producing better quality images, which improves radiologists' ability to interpret them, better cancer detection in dense breast tissue, particularly important for younger women and a more efficient reporting process leading to results getting to women faster.

The Government's Cancer Reform Strategy, published last year, committed to roll out digital mammography across the UK by 2010. Breakthrough Breast Cancer and the NHS Breast Screening Programme want to ensure that this new technique is rolled out swiftly and as seamlessly as possible so that breast screening units are not left using a mixture of film-based and digital mammography at the same time.

Speaking after the launch Mark Hunter, said: '"I am delighted to continue to support Breakthrough Breast Cancer's Screening Saves Lives campaign.

"The move towards digital mammography for all breast screening units is to be welcomed but we need to ensure that there is appropriate support and infrastructure to make this a reality as swiftly as possible.

"Breast cancer is now the most common cancer in the UK, with over 44,000 women diagnosed each year. The earlier breast cancer is detected, the better the chances of successful treatment and the NHS Breast Screening Programme has been instrumental in ensuring more women than ever are surviving a disease that will affect one in nine women in their lifetime."

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