Breast screening programmes were paused in March in the heat of the COVID-19 pandemic, as the NHS focused more resources on tackling the spread of the virus.
The pause in breast screening has lead to what experts estimated to be almost one million women in the UK missing a vital breast screening. Breast cancer diagnosed at a later stage can be harder to treat.
“Mammograms are a key tool in the early detection of breast cancer, which is critical to stopping women dying from the disease” said Baroness Delyth Morgan, Breast Cancer Now chief executive. she also noted that : “That nearly one million women across the UK were caught up in the backlog waiting for breast screening is cause for grave concern.
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A spokesperson for the NHS in England said: “The vast majority of cancers detected through screening programmes are at a very early stage and so any impact on patients who were due to be screened is extremely low.
Breast Cancer Now calculates that around 8,600 women who have not had a scan have undetected breast cancer.
The scanning programme is running again, but social distancing measures have reduced capacity.