Earlier this year, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt reported that 450,000 women in their early 70’s had not been invited for routine breast cancer screenings due to a technical, algorithmic error, leading to 270 lives potentially being shortened.

However, Professor Peter Sasieni, a leading cancer expert at King’s College London, now reports that the error could date back to 2005, meaning tens of thousands more women may have missed out on their breast cancer screening invitations.

Professor Sasieni reported that 2-3% less women, in the 65-70 age bracket were invited for breast cancer screening than those in the 55-64 age bracket. Although a small percentage, this amounts to approximately 140,000 women not receiving an invite between 2005 and 2008.

Speaking of the data, Professor Sasieni has said that the information indicating the lack of invitations to women aged 70 was publically available, but wasn’t looked at carefully enough. Professor John Newton of Public Health England has responded and branded this analysis as “flawed” as it does not take into account when the breast screening programme was introduced to all 70 year olds and other important clinical trials.

Raising her concerns, Baroness Delyth Morgan, chief executive at Breast Cancer Now has urged Public Health England to reveal the full scale of any errors made as soon as possible.

Our specialist Clinical Negligence team has years of experience in dealing with the effects of delays in diagnosis. If you think that you, or a loved one may have been affected following delays in routine cancer screening, or have concerns about treatment you have received please contact someone in our national team:-

Siobhan Genever, Director (Nottingham) on 0845 271 6793 or siobhan.genever@freeths.co.uk

Carolyn Lowe, Partner (Oxford/Milton Keynes) on 0186 578 1019 or carolyn.lowe@freeths.co.uk

Karen Reynolds, Partner (Derby/Stoke) on 0845 272 5677 or karen.reynolds@freeths.co.uk

Jane Williams, Partner (Leicester) on 0845 272 5724 or jane.williams@freeths.co.uk

For further information please also visit our website at: http://www.freeths.co.uk/legal-services/individuals/clinical-negligence/