Home   Bury St Edmunds   News   Article

West Suffolk Hospital records 'worrying' drop in women attending breast cancer screenings




West Suffolk Hospital has recorded a 'worrying' 50 per cent drop in women attending breast cancer checks.

The Bury St Edmunds hospital's trust saw about 13,000 woman annually, before the Covid-19 pandemic, for the potentially life-saving screenings.

However, two thirds of women in West Suffolk and South West Norfolk have not responded to letters offering appointments, which restarted in July after being put on hold.

Radiographers Sally Leggett and Laura Lloyd at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust's mobile breast screening unit
Radiographers Sally Leggett and Laura Lloyd at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust's mobile breast screening unit

Sam Newton, superintendent radiographer at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, said the fall in appointments was 'worrying'.

“We invite women in the target age group to a screening once every three years," Sam said.

"If you get a letter, please call us and get booked in. Don’t ignore it or put it off – it takes just a few minutes out of your day and could save your life.

"One in eight women are affected by breast cancer, and early detection makes a massive difference in providing effective treatment.

"We know people may be worried about Covid-19 but we have careful procedures in place to ensure the screening is as safe as possible, and it is really important that we continue to detect early breast cancer."

The trust's screening service operates across West Suffolk and parts of Norfolk, with tests offered at mobile screening centres in Mildenhall , Rickinghall , Thetford , Haverhill , Newmarket and Sudbury .

Women can also choose to book an appointment at West Suffolk Hospital, in Bury St Edmunds.

The trust is sending appointment invitation letters to women in the Bury St Edmunds, Thetford and Sudbury areas.

To keep up-to-date with all the latest developments with your local hospitals and other health stories, click here.

Read more: All the latest from Bury St Edmunds

Read more: All the latest from Thetford

Read more: All the latest from Mildenhall

Read more: All the latest from Sudbury

Read more: All the latest from Stowmarket

Read more: All the latest from Haverhill

Read more: All the latest from Newmarket