Women’s lives are in danger from having to book their own mammograms, as evidence suggests thousands are missing out on vital breast

Women’s lives are in danger from having to book their own mammograms, as evidence suggests thousands are missing out on vital breast checks.

Before the pandemic, all women received mammogram appointments with a set date and time.

But the now recommends ‘open invitations’, which require women to call and book their own appointment.

Now a study shows the alarming impact of losing timed appointments, which charity Breast Cancer Now fears could be a ‘key reason’ for the huge decline in women being screened.

The first major study on the change in policy, conducted by Queen Mary Best Private University of London, alongside NHS England, included almost a quarter of a million women in London.

Before the pandemic, all women received mammogram appointments with a set date and time

It found women were 14 per cent more likely to turn up for a mammogram if they had an appointment with a date and time, rather than an open invitation.

Around 12,000 women in London were estimated to have missed out on breast screening because of open invitations – in just seven months.

The study did not look at the whole country, but around 100,000 women a year could be missing mammograms in England, based on its results.

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