Breast Cancer scandal: 270 woman died after NHS computer error denied screenings

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Some 150,000 of those women have now died, and the United Kingdom health secretary admitted between 135 and 270 of them developed breast cancer that shortened their lives.

British Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt told Parliament that 450,000 women missed out on breast screenings after a "computer algorithm failure" stopped letters from being sent to them, reminding them to have a check-up.

The 2012 study says there's also a group of women who are "over-diagnosed" - in other words they receive treatment for a cancer that "would never have caused problems" if it had not been picked up in screening.

In the United Kingdom, women between the ages of 50 and 70 are entitled to a breast cancer screening every three years, as part of the government-run universal health-care system.

Jonathan Ashworth, Labour's Shadow Health Secretary, said he wanted to know if the blunder led to an overall fall in the update of breast cancer screening.

It was announced this week that, between 2009 and 2018, a computer error meant that 450,000 women aged around 70 in the United Kingdom were not sent their final breast screening appointment letter.

Hunt has now commissioned an independent review of the NHS breast screening programme to look at issues, including its processes, IT systems and further changes and improvements that can be made to the system to minimise the risk of any repetition of this incident.

So who exactly has been affected by the NHS breast cancer screening scandal?

All of the women had been enrolled in the AgeX NHS trial, which aims to find out whether older women benefit from having extra breast cancer screening.

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On next steps, Mr Hunt said it was the Government's "intention is to contact all those living within the United Kingdom who are registered with a GP before the end of May, with the first 65,000 letters going out this week".

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After another grilling by the LBC host, she added: "There has been a failure and we are all sorry for that across the system". "The women contacting us are feeling angry, confused and want answers".

"She was taken to soon - a victim perhaps of other's failings".

Two years later she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Women aged 71 to 73 should have had a last routine scan three years after their last mammogram and before their 70th birthday.

"It is beyond belief that this major mistake has been sustained for nearly a decade and we need to know why this has been allowed to happen", said Delyth Morgan, chief executive of Breast Cancer Now. Irrespective of when the incident started, the fact is that for many years, oversight of our screening programme has not been good enough. "Ministers must explain why this issue was allowed to go on for so long and why the problem wasn't identified earlier".

A helpline has been set up for anyone who is concerned that they might have been among those missed - 0800 169 2692.