Missed Breast Cancer Screenings due to COVID-19
September 30, 2020
A breast cancer charity reveals in early October 2020 that almost 1 million women are missing vital breast cancer screenings because of COVID-19. The charity Breast Cancer Now estimates that around 986,000 women were unable to have mammograms.
They have also said that there could be 8,600 women now living in the UK that could have undiagnosed breast cancer, which has not been picked up due to them being unable to have a scan. This estimate is based on the average number of women who have screenings per month, and the approximate length of time that each part of the UK suspended the screenings.
The charity has published a new report, which shows the effect that COVID-19 has had on breast cancer to date. The report also has recommendations on what the Government and NHS bodies can do to tackle the crisis. They also state the need for rapid progress in diagnosis, treatment and care for the disease, and that this momentum needs to be maintained.
The Effect of the Pandemic on Breast Cancer Screenings
Breast cancer screening services paused back in March due to the pandemic. They have started to reopen again now, but there is a significant backlog in the screenings. There are also reductions in the appointment availability to enable social distancing. This, along with the number of women also coming forward with new symptoms, has put a huge strain on a service that is already stretched thin.
Breast Cancer Now is encouraging all women to still attend their appointments. If they have any new symptoms or changes in their breasts to get in touch with their GP urgently. They have said that it is crucial for women to carry on doing this during the pandemic.
Breast Cancer Awareness month is this October and seeing that there could be this many women living with the condition undiagnosed due to a backlog of breast screenings is devastating. We understand that these delays may now cause many women to experience anxiety. Having breast cancer is already an awful experience to go through, but if you could have had the diagnosis at an earlier date, then it can be even worse.
The Importance of Breast Cancer Screenings in Diagnosis
According to the NHS, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in the UK, with around 1 in 8 women being diagnosed with the condition at some point during their lifetime. It is most common in women over the age of 50, but younger women can also get breast cancer. It becomes harder to treat when diagnosed at a later stage, so early diagnosis is vital.
Breast screenings, including mammograms, are key to this diagnosis. They can pick up cancer when it is too small to see or feel. Screening diagnoses around 19,000 breast cancer cases annually in England alone.
if there is a delay in the diagnosis of cancer, it can affect your prognosis or your treatment. It is therefore important that it is diagnosed as early as possible. Sadly, this is not always the case. The delay may be due to negligence on the part of a Doctor or GP, or may be misdiagnosed. That is why it is very important to have breast cancer screenings.
How we can help
If you or a loved one has cancer, and there was a delay in the diagnosis, you may be able to claim compensation. This is especially the case if the delay has affected the prognosis or treatment,
We know that with a diagnosis of Cancer, claiming compensation may be the last thing on your mind. However, here at The Medical Negligence Experts, we work with leading specialist solicitors across the country. The solicitors have plenty of experience in dealing with situations involving a delay in diagnosis.
Contact us today by filling in the contact form or call us on 01614138761 to speak to one of our friendly, knowledgeable advisors.