BreastCheck extension to commence later this year


Planning for the age extension of BreastCheck to 65 – 69 year olds is underway and screening of the extended cohort will commence in October, according to East Galway TD Paul Connaughton.
The issue of extending BreastCheck to women aged up to 69 was one of the issues raised at last week’s People Debate with Vincent Browne in the Raheen Woods Hotel in Athenry. Speaking following the debate, Deputy Connaughton, who didn’t have an opportunity to respond on the night, stated, ‘This roll out to women aged up to 69 was always planned and is being rolled out on schedule, beginning in October. It will mean that BreastCheck will be available to a further 100,000 women and, when fully implemented, 540,000 women will be included in the BreastCheck Programme.’
‘On a personal level, I am only too aware of the devastation that breast cancer causes to families and while detection levels are improving and improved treatments are becoming available, it is still vital that people remain vigilant and that they take up appointments with BreastCheck when they are received.
‘The age extension will be implemented on an incremental basis in line with the capacity of the system to manage the additional screening and follow up workload. BreastCheck will need to recruit and train additional radiographers, medical consultants and administration support to accommodate the increased demand. Funding for this, and for additional mobile units and medical equipment, will be made available across the implementation period. The age extension will be fully rolled out by 2021.
‘Women of any age who have concerns about breast cancer should seek the advice of their GP who will, if appropriate, refer them to the symptomatic breast services in one of the eight designated cancer centres.’