Up to 450,000 women in England were not called for their last mammogram before they turned 70 because of a computer failure that goes back to 2009, health secretary Jeremy Hunt has told the House of Commons. He said some women will have avoidably died as a result. Not everybody agrees with him. Up to 80,000 of these women were enrolled in AgeX, a major NHS trial designed to find out whether extra screening would protect older women from breast cancer. When the trial began in 2009, the records of the women taking part had a “flag” on the NHS system, which meant they did not receive any more routine invitations for screening. Half of those taking part in the trial would have been screened as part of the trial, but the other half would not, enabling researchers to work out whether screening beyond the age of 70 actually saves lives or not. Hunt told the House of Commons it has taken 10 years for the mistake to be recognised. Some cancers that could have been picked up early and treated will have been missed, he said. As many as 207 women may have died unnecessarily, a tragedy for the… Read full this story
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