Search icon


02nd May 2018

Breast cancer screening failure means 270 women in UK may have had lives ‘shortened’

breast cancer nhs

A breast cancer screening failure in the UK means that up to 270 women may have had their lives “shortened.”

The NHS failed to invite hundreds of thousands of women for screenings due to IT issues which happened in 2009.

The problem was discovered in January of this year.

Some of the women affected have since gone on to develop breast cancer.

Sky News reports that Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said today that the government is conducting an independent review into the NHS screening process.

Hunt also apologised “wholeheartedly and unreservedly for the suffering caused.”

He said there could be 135 to 270 women who “… had their lives shortened as a result” of the failure.

“Tragically there are likely to be some people in this group who would have been alive today if the failure had not happened,” he said.

The 309,000 women thought to be affected by the issue will be contacted by the NHS this week.

Women awaiting their final screening tests were also affected.

Overall, 450,000 women were not invited for breast cancer screenings. 150,000 women have since died and the other 300,000 are in their 70s.

The issue was resolved on April 1, 2018 to ensure that women would receive their invitations.

This comes as Ireland’s own health service, the HSE, apologised for providing 208 women with incorrect all-clear cervical cancer results through CervicalCheck.

17 women caught up in the controversy have since died.