Breast can­cer vic­tim told: mam­mo­grams not fool­proof


Bray People - - Bray People - Mary FOG­A­RTY

A LEAD­ING can­cer spe­cial­ist has told a Bray woman suf­fer­ing from can­cer, whos eini­tial mam­mo­gram was re­ported as nor­mal, that a neg­a­tive mam­mo­gram or breast X-ray does not nec­es­sar­ily rule out breast can­cer.

Pro­fes­sor Niall O’Hig­gins, head of the depart­ment of surgery at the Royal Col­lege of Sur­geons told a con­fer­ence that mam­mo­grams are not fool­proof af­ter a ques­tion from the floor from He­len Doyle, (52).

‘We have seen many can­cers which are not di­ag­nos­able on a mam­mo­gram,’ he said.

He added, how­ever, that the chances of a can­cer not be­ing picked up would be min­imised if a pa­tient was seen by a mul­ti­dis­ci­plinary team, where there would be the added in­for­ma­tion pro­vided by other ex­am­i­na­tions.

Ms. Doyle told Prof. O’Hig­gins that she was di­ag­nosed with stage three breast can­cer in May 2007 fol­low­ing a mam­mo­gram the pre­vi­ous year which came back nor­mal.

She said that her treat­ment is on­go­ing and that she has yet to ask for the mam­mo­gram to be re­viewed. ‘I can’t un­der­stand how it could have grown from noth- ing to that size in such a short pe­riod of time,’ she said.

Chris­tine Mur­phy-Whyte, chair­woman of Europa Donna Ire­land, the sup­port group or­gan­is­ing the con­fer­ence, said that the re­cent deaths of women mis-di­ag­nosed, shows the ur­gent need to have ful­lyre­sourced spe­cial­ist breast can­cer cen­tres in place.

She ap­pealed to politi­cians, health pro­fes­sion­als and women cam­paign­ing for ser­vices to be re­tained in their lo­cal ar­eas to get be­hind the drive to es­tab­lish and re­source spe­cial­ist cen­tres, which she said would save the lives of 130 breast can­cer pa­tients a year.

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