Breast check-up unit to be placed full-time at Clacton Hospital for 2016

Monica Dale at a breast screening unit

Monica Dale at a breast screening unit - Credit: Archant

A mobile breast screening unit will become permanent fixture at Clacton Hospital this year as part of a widespread programme of cancer checks.

The unit will be parked at the hospital for 13 months, until early 2017, with the first screenings taking place from January 11.

During that time, a total of 14,700 women from the Clacton area will be invited for a mammogram – breast x-ray – as part of the NHS Breast Screening Programme.

The programme offers every woman in the UK aged 50-70 a screening every three years. Some women aged 47-49 and 71-73 are also invited.

The unit is one of three digital mobile breast screening units from the Chelmsford & Colchester NHS Breast Screening Service, run by the Colchester Hospital University Foundation and Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS trusts.

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Monica Dale, programme manager at the Chelmsford & Colchester NHS Breast Screening Service, said: “We advise women to carefully consider the offer to attend for a breast screening mammogram.

“Statistics show one in eight women in the UK will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime and early diagnosis gives them the best chance of being cured.

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“Breast screening does not prevent you from getting breast cancer but it does find cancers at an early stage when treatment is more likely to be successful and women are more likely to survive.”

A total of 8,235 women from Clacton will be invited for screening, 1,892 from Holland-on-Sea, 2,047 from Jaywick, 1,264 from Little Clacton and 1,262 from Walton-on-the-Naze.

Invitations are posted around three weeks in advance of appointments and can be changed easily if the day or time is inconvenient.

The NHS Breast Screening Programme was set up in 1988.

Screening in mid and north Essex also takes place at the breast units at Essex County Hospital, Colchester, and Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford, but also on the three mobile units used in different locations so women can access the service easily.

For more information about screening in the Clacton area call the service on 01206 744645. Women aged 74 or over can make an appointment by calling 01206 744749.

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