Last month, the leading breast cancer charity Breast Cancer Now estimated that nearly one million women in the UK missed potentially life-saving NHS breast screenings due to Covid-19.
Doctors in Cheshire and Merseyside have urged women who have been invited to a breast cancer appointment to “act as quickly as possible”.
Health experts said the only reason to cancel an appointment was if you had symptoms of coronavirus or had been tested by NHS Test and Trace
Women aged 50-74 who are registered with a family doctor receive invitations to breast cancer screening appointments every three years.
The Cheshire and Merseyside Cancer Alliance and NHS organisations across the region “strongly encourage” women not to cancel their appointments unless they show symptoms of coronavirus or have been asked to isolate themselves by NHS Test and Trace.
In a statement posted on Wednesday on the website of the NHS Clinical Commissioning Group in Liverpool, they said: “Hospitals, doctors’ surgeries and mobile screening units across Cheshire and Merseyside have taken steps to ensure the safety of people during their appointments, including special ‘COVID safe’ facilities”.
With one in eight women in the UK being diagnosed with breast cancer at some stage in their lives, health professionals encourage women to attend their breast cancer screenings as early detection leads to better results and treatment options are much better.
“If we detect breast cancer early, it means that the results and treatment options are so much better.
Dr. Cheryl Lowes, a general practitioner in North Liverpool, said: “If we detect breast cancer early, the results and treatment options are much better. “Early detection covers those people who have breast cancer but are at such an early stage that they do not yet have symptoms.
“About 1 in 25 people who take part in this initial screening will receive a callback for further examination. And then it is only 1 in 4 of the people who are called back who are diagnosed with breast cancer.
“If you receive an invitation to a screening, then probably to a mobile breast screening unit.
“But if this does not apply to you, you can rest assured that it is very safe for you to attend.
“If you have COVID-19 symptoms or have been contacted by the NHS Test and Trace, you will be asked to reschedule your appointment.