Concern that 60 per cent of woman not taking breast screening appointments in Fleetwood, says MP Cat Smith

Concerns have been raised that 60 per cent of women invited for potentially life-saving breast screening in Fleetwood have so far failed to make an appointment – just weeks before the mobile unit is due to be moved.

By Richard Hunt
Friday, 20th May 2022, 12:30 pm

Lancaster and Fleetwood MP Cat Smith says she is deeply concerned about the figures and is urging women to make the most of the facility while it is there.

Ms Smith drove the campaign to have the unit returned to the town after it was re-sited in Lytham – however, so far only 40 per cent of those sent screening invites have taken up the offer.

The MP said: “Regular breast screening is one of the best ways to spot a cancer that is too small to feel or see – and this painless and quick procedure saves around 1,300 lives each year in the UK,” explained Ms Smith.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Fleetwood MP Cat Smith (centre) campaigned to have the mobile breast screening unit moved to Fleetwood - but 60 per cent of women in the town have not made appointments, with time running out before it is moved

“Finding cancer early can make it more likely that treatment will be successful, less likely you'll need to have a breast removed and more likely you'll be cured.”

Read More

Read More
St Annes man who agreed to have life support switched off if risky brain surgery...

The Breast Screening mobile van is due to leave the Fleetwood area at the end of May.

Women who have been invited but have not yet responded still have time to book an appointment for available dates in May, with May 24 the last screening day in Fleetwood before the van is moved.

After this date, women will have to travel to other sites for testing.

Ms Smith added: “It’s so important for women to use this life saving resource before we lose it.

“We ran a very effective community campaign to get the unit brought back to the town but if the take-up is low, decision makers will obviously send the unit to where demand is higher.”

About 12,000 women in the UK die of breast cancer every year.

Survival from the disease has been improving over time, and now around three out of four women diagnosed with breast cancer are alive 10 years later.

About four out of five breast cancers are found in women over 50 years old and Ms Smith added: “It’s so important that all women aged 50 and up to their 71st birthday have their breasts checked every three years when invited by the health authority.”