Women are being urged to keep their breast cancer screening appointment during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Marking Breast Cancer Awareness Month, local London Assembly member, Unmesh Desai said that “we should amplify the message that women should feel confident that can safely attend these potentially life-saving appointments.”
Mr Desai’s calls come in the wake of recent research published by the charity, Breast Cancer Now, which estimates that almost a million women across the UK have missed a breast cancer screening appointment due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Routine assessments were paused in March to contain the spread of the virus and free-up NHS resources.
The charity is now campaigning for widespread screenings to resume. The NHS say that services are back up and running again with 400,000 invitations having been sent out between June and August.
According to NHS figures, breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in the UK, with around 1 in 8 women diagnosed with the condition during their lifetime. NHS advice states that if breast cancer is detected early on, there is a good chance of recovery.
Mr Desai said: “Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer, but we know that early detection is our strongest tool in significantly boosting the chances of recovery.
“Whilst it is understandable that routine assessments had to be paused to allow the NHS to deal with the pandemic at its peak, it is vital that cancer screening capacity is now boosted to both get on top of the backlog and meet the level of demand.
“It is a positive start to see reassurances from the NHS that 400,000 screening invitations have been sent out in recent months. We now need to amplify the message that women should feel confident that they can safely attend these potentially life-saving appointments, amidst the pandemic.”