Some women aged between 70 and 79 are being offered the opportunity for a breast screen. The offer of a screen comes after some women did not receive an invitation for a final screen, as part of the routine NHS Breast Screening Programme. This problem dates back to 2009.
NHS Breast Screening Services have apologised, and are writing to all affected women who are registered with a GP to offer them the opportunity for a screen and further information by the end of May 2018. A free helpline is available if they need more advice.
The helpline number is: 0800 169 2692
However, if you are not currently registered with a GP and believe you did not receive an invitation for a screen sometime between your 68th – 71st birthdays then we advise that you get in touch with the helpline on 0800 169 2692.
The Breast Screening Programme usually invites women to have a screen once every three years when aged between 50 and 70 (up to their 71st birthday). This means women will usually receive their final screen sometime between their 68th and 71st birthdays.
Most women can be reassured that they will have received their final invitation but there are some women, now aged between 70 – 79 years, who have missed an invitation and who will now be offered the opportunity for a breast screen.
Getting support and advice
A dedicated advice line has been set up for the women affected and also for those that think they did not receive an invitation – call 0800 169 2692 if you need further support and advice.
If you do receive a letter from PHE (Public Health England) informing you that you are affected, you will be offered the opportunity for a screen. To help you choose you may find it helpful to read the following leaflet: Breast Screening For Women Over 70
If you do choose to have a screen, information on what you need to do will be provided in your letter.
If you do not receive a letter from PHE by the end of May 2018, and are registered with a GP in England, you can be reassured that you did not miss a screen.
You do not need to contact your GP as all women affected will receive a letter from PHE by the end of May, which will provide information about what you need to do if you choose to have a screen.
As usual, all women should continue to be aware of any changes to their breasts and if they have any concerns then they should see their GP.
A full statement from Public Health England is available at: Gov.uk
For information from NHS Choices on missed invitations for breast cancer screening see: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/breast-cancer-screening/missed-invitations/
For more information on the symptoms of breast cancer please see: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/breast-cancer/symptoms/
For general information about the NHS breast screening service, including when screening is needed, see: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/breast-cancer-screening/