NHS Screening 'Missing Thousands Of Cases Of Breast Cancer'

Research Suggests 2,000 Cases A Year Slip Through


Andrew Robinson, Press Officer | 0113 218 6463
Women should be offered ultrasound screenings for breast cancer instead of mammograms on the NHS, a new study has urged.

Research presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium suggests that as many as 2,400 cases of breast cancer per year are being missed because of reliance on mammograms.

The NHS offers mammograms every three years to women between the ages of 47 and 73, and every year around 50,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer.

Women whose mammograms found dense breast tissue should be alerted and offered ultrasound scans instead, according to the research.

"We found that among women with dense breasts, screening breast ultrasound detected a significant number of breast cancers not discovered by mammogram," said Jean M Weigert MD, a clinical radiologist and Director of Breast Imaging at the Hospital of Central Connecticut.

She added that the findings may be "uncomfortable" for people working in breast screening, as they highlight the need for major changes to the way these programmes are operated.

If you have suffered due to misdiagnosed breast cancer or a delayed breast cancer diagnosis, our medical negligence lawyers could help you claim compensation. Call 0808 163 4557 for a free initial consultation or see our Cancer Misdiagnosis Claims page for more details.

Expert Opinion
It is troubling to see these reports, as they indicate a number of patients may not be diagnosed with cancer in the early stages of the disease, which can have a significant impact on the chances of patients surviving and recovering from cancer.

“Early diagnosis is crucial to ensure the maximum amount of treatment options are available to patient, thus significantly improving the chances of survival for many types of cancer, and it is important all options are looked at and offered to those showing symptoms associated with the disease.

“Patients may be missing out on vital treatment because they are not being diagnosed quickly enough and action is needed to ensure sufferers are given the best possible chance of beating their cancer.”
Julie Lewis, Partner