Screening will be done safely, say NHS bosses
WOMEN URGED TO ATTEND APPOINTMENTS
NHS bosses are reassuring women about the safety of attending routine breast screening appointments.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and women in the East Midlands are being encouraged to attend their regular breast screening appointment if they are contacted by screening services.
Coronavirus has had a major impact on the NHS, including on breast screening services and, as a result, women may have waited longer than they usually do to be invited for regular screening.
Now that services are getting up and running again, they can feel reassured by the safety measures that have been put in place, say health leaders.
Dr Ash Banerjee, Screening and Immunisations lead for NHS England and Improvement in the Midlands, said: “Measures are in place to ensure that essential, routine screening can be delivered safely.
“About one in eight women in the UK are diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime, so it’s important to attend for screening when this is offered. As long as you or any member of your household are not displaying symptoms of coronavirus and are not selfisolating, breast screening should take place as normal.
“Please attend for your screening appointment if you are contacted by a breast screening provider and informed that you are due for your routine screen.”
Breast screening aims to find cancers early using an X-ray test called a mammogram. This can spot cancers when they are too small to see or feel. To protect everyone against the possible spread of Covid-19, screening providers will ensure that social distancing can be observed, and additional infection control procedures have been introduced.
This includes the wearing of personal protective equipment by staff such as face masks and gloves. Enhanced infection control measures mean appointments may be held at a clinic different to the usual venue and these may take longer than usual. Women are also being asked to wear a face covering, unless there is a reason that they cannot do so.
Please attend for your screening appointment if you are contacted by a screening provider
Dr Ash Banerjee