THE Irish Cancer Society is calling on women in Donegal and the TDs and Senators who represent them, to join them at Leinster House on 30th September to demand the Government keep its promise to extend BreastCheck to women aged 65-69.
The Irish Cancer Society will hand in a petition of signatures to the Government which calls on the Minister for Health to include the screening extension in the HSE’s National Services Plan for 2015. Irish people have been waiting for this life-saving breast screening extension since it was first promised in the Programme for Government in 2011.
Kathleen O’Meara, Head of Advocacy and Communications at the Irish Cancer Society said, “When BreastCheck is extended to women in this age group, every year 87 lives will be saved across the country. In Donegal, six women will be saved every year.
“We are asking anyone who is aged between 65 and 69 or who has a mother, grandmother, sister or friend in this age group to wear pink and join us at Leinster House on September 30 at 12pm and demand the government doesn’t forget about these women.”
If BreastCheck was extended, 43,670 women would be invited to attend for free screening each year. We now know that for every 500 women screened, one cancer will be detected which would result in 87 women’s lives being saved annually.
Women aged 60 to 69 have the second highest incidence of breast cancer and the second highest chance of dying from it. Yet only half of this age group is currently being screened under the free national screening service.
BreastCheck invites women aged 50 to 64 to be screened every two years. Women who are 65 to 69 are not being screened at all.
Ms O’Meara said: “We know from the scientific research that early detection of cancers offer the best chance for successful treatment and cure. A BreastCheck mammogram is a simple procedure and the appointment only takes half an hour but could save a life.”
The Irish Cancer Society is also inviting Donegal TDs to join them at Leinster House to show their support for the campaign.
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