Mobile cancer unit could have new home

A MOBILE breast cancer screening service facing the loss of its base in a Suffolk town could be found an alternative home after a public appeal for help, it has emerged.

Danielle Nuttall

A MOBILE breast cancer screening service facing the loss of its base in a Suffolk town could be found an alternative home after a public appeal for help, it has emerged.

The East Suffolk Breast Screening Service has received many offers of assistance since it was revealed it could not take up its usual position, in the car park of Framlingham Castle, in September because of an increased need for visitor parking.

The service's mobile screening van provides mammograms to detect early stage cancer to 500 women annually in Framlingham and parks in the town for four weeks a year.

However, English Heritage now needs the space for visitor parking due to a new exhibition at the popular site.

But Ipswich Hospital spokeswoman Jan Rowsell was confident last night a new home could be announced soon.

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“We are very grateful to English Heritage for their continued support. There has been a really good response to our request and we are at the moment working through all the options.

“We are very hopeful we will resolve this very shortly.”

The mobile van, which has been in operation for almost 20 years, is part of the national NHS Breast Screening Programme, which invites all women aged between 50 and 70 for screening every three years.

It travels and serves women all over east Suffolk.

Another van is permanently situated at St Clements Hospital in Ipswich.

A spokesman for English Heritage said: “English Heritage very much regrets that it is unable to provide space in Framlingham Castle car park for the East Suffolk Breast Cancer Unit's mobile screening programme during September, as the site receives its highest number of visitors during this time. “English Heritage anticipates an even higher number of visitors to the site this year due to the opening of the new Powerhouse to Poorhouse exhibition.

“The mobile screening unit is a large unit and would take up too many car parking bays.

“English Heritage would be happy to accommodate the mobile screening unit in the meadow, adjoining the Castle car park in September. Alternatively, we would be happy to accommodate the mobile screening unit in the Car park during the low visitor season, running from November to early February.”

The van needs to find a new hard-standing site with electricity and water supplies nearby and access to toilet facilities for staff.

One in nine women will develop breast cancer and mammograms can show cancers at an early stage when they are too small for patients or doctors to see or feel.

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