Up to 270 feared dead in shocking NHS breast cancer computer glitch

Up to 270 feared dead in shocking NHS breast cancer computer glitch

"On behalf of NHS [National Health Service] breast screening services, we apologise to the women affected and we are writing to them to offer a catch-up screening appointment", PHE Deputy Medical Director Jenny Harries said in a statement.

"However, tragically there are likely to be some people in this group who would have been alive today if the failure had not happened".

"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".

At the heart of the breast cancer screening shambles is a bitter irony.

Public Health England (PHE) has launched an independent review into the "serious failure" in the programme.

He said a computer algorithm failure was to blame and meant in some cases that women approaching their 71st birthday were not sent an invitation for a final breast scan as they should have been.

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The health secretary said that any women who missed their mammogram will be contacted by the end of May.

While it's well-known that a lump in the breast could be a sign of the disease, there are many lesser-known symptoms that women (and indeed, men) should be aware of, as treatment is more successful if it's detected early.

17 women caught up in the controversy have since died.

"To put measures in place to invite those women affected for screening where appropriate, to ensure there are enough resources in the system to cope with any additional demand that might follow as a result, and to take steps to ensure this never happens again".

Under the United Kingdom health system, Patricia Minchin was due to have a mammogram five years ago after she turned 70, but the notification never arrived.

Any woman concerned that they might have breast cancer can see their GP and be referred for a screening.

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The estimate of how many lives were shortened due to the glitch was based on statistical models rather than patient records, Mr Hunt (pictured above) said. It is offered to women aged 50-70 who are registered with a GP.

Mr Hunt went on to announce an independent review into the issue.

It's thought one in eight women and one in 870 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.

Gina Long MBE says the failure is "catastrophic".

Cancer Research UK, a non-governmental organisation, said the news was very concerning and advised any woman over 50 who had not had a mammogram in the last three years to book an appointment.

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