|Sir George backs Breast Screening Campaign
17 May 2007
Sir George has joined forces with the UK’s leading breast cancer charity, Breakthrough Breast Cancer, and the All Party Parliamentary Group on Breast Cancer by signing up to the charity’s Screening Saves Lives campaign. He is calling on the Government to ensure the NHS Breast Screening programme in Hampshire is adequately resourced as the number of women entitled to this potentially life-saving service rises.
MPs attending the Group’s annual reception, held jointly with Breakthrough Breast Cancer at Westminster, heard that the NHS Breast Screening Programme is estimated to save around 1,400 lives each year in England alone and gives women the best possible chance of survival by detecting cancer early.
However, this essential service is likely to face increased demand in the future, as more and more women born in the post-war ‘baby boom’ reach their 50th birthdays and as a result, become eligible for routine breast screening. Currently, all women aged 50-70 are invited to routine breast screening appointments every three years and the Government expects this group to grow by 20%, in England, between 2005 and 2025.
“I am delighted to continue my support for Breakthrough Breast Cancer’s Screening Saves Lives campaign.
“Breast cancer is the most common cancer in UK women, with nearly 44,000 women diagnosed each year. The earlier breast cancer is detected, the better the chances of successful treatment and the NHS Breast Screening Programme has been instrumental in ensuring more women than ever are surviving a disease that will affect one in nine women in their lifetime.
“The number of women eligible for breast screening is set to grow over the coming years. However, if the screening service is to continue its vital and life-saving work, it’s essential that the Government and (area) Strategic Health Authorities ensures there is capacity to deal with the projected increased demand.”
Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive of Breakthrough Breast Cancer, said:
“Breakthrough Breast Cancer launched Screening Saves Lives last year and since then has been campaigning hard to support and improve the work of the NHS Breast Screening Programme. We are delighted that, in the twelve months since the campaign was launched, parliamentary support has continued to grow.
“The NHS Breast Screening Programme offers an unmatched service which enables breast cancers to be detected before they can be seen or felt by hand. But with the predicted rise in the number of women accessing the programme it is vital that its high standards are maintained and that the Government ensures that the Screening Programme has the resources it needs to meet the demographic challenge ahead.”