Breast screening failure 'shortened' up to 270 lives

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"That hundreds of thousands of women have not received the screening invitations they've been relying upon, at a time when they may be most at risk of breast cancer, is totally unacceptable".

This meant women approaching their 71st birthday were not sent an invitation for a final breast scan, with subsequent computer modelling suggesting that between 135 and 270 women may have had their lives shortened as a result.

Women's lives are now being lost because of algorithms.

Mr Gough said she missed the wedding of her grandson as she was too ill to attend, and died just before her granddaughter's nuptials.

In a recent report on the NHS, the IPPR said the number of women who accepted invitations had fallen to 71%, a 10 year low.

"Employer-sponsored health insurance and paid sick leave are often reserved for employees with higher earnings, full-time status, and more generous benefits, which may correlate also with race", she said.

Her daughter Belinda, 57, told The Sun she should have had the test but never got the letter - and a year later a lump was found and she was diagnosed with stage three cancer.

"We think she may have tried to inquire, but didn't really know who to speak to as it didn't come through the GP, it's a separate system".

The 77-year-old called on ministers to explain how the situation could have been allowed.

Gran Trixie Gough, 76, from Norfolk, died in 2015 from breast cancer.

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He believes she could have lived longer if the disease had been spotted earlier.

"She was taken to soon - a victim perhaps of other's failings". But the NHS screening computer programme appears to have cancelled it, which means some women entering the trial had their final screening aged 67 or 68.

Mr Hunt said: "Irrespective of when the incident started, the fact is that for many years oversight of our screening programme has not been good enough".

"So on behalf of the Government, Public Health England and the NHS, I apologise wholeheartedly and unreservedly for the suffering caused".

"We also need to get to the bottom of precisely how many people were affected, why it happened and most importantly how we can prevent it from ever happening again".

Staff at Queen Alexandra Hospital's breast services were delighted to welcome the WI from Portchester last week who delivered the bras.

"The whole journey I went on, the traumatic journey, all the treatment, may never have had to have happened".

In the United Kingdom, women between the ages of 50 and 70 are entitled to a breast cancer screening every three years, as part of the government-run universal health-care system.

"PHE has carried out a thorough investigation, including a detailed analysis of data going back to 2009, and has been advised by experts and clinicians".

He said: "This awful blunder may have resulted in tragic consequences for so many families and I have contacted the Morecambe Bay trust to find out whether any local women have been affected".

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