When news happens, text SDE and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
Southampton women will have access to the latest in cancer-detecting technology.
6:18pm Sunday 12th August 2012 in News
Southampton women will have access to the latest breast screening technology that will help save lives, the Daily Echo can reveal.
Bosses at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust have announced that all breast screening services will be digitalised before the end of the year, offering clearer and more accurate images.
The trust, which runs the Princess Anne Hospital where the screening service is based, had come under some criticism from Breakthrough Breast Cancer who accused Southampton for being one of only six services out of 80 in the UK that had not started to implement digital technology yet, still using “outdated” film X-rays.
But bosses have confirmed that the new technology will be in place by the end of the year and as part of that programme, they will be lowering the age of when women can use the service.
The new and improved technology means that technical errors can be seen instantly, meaning fewer recall appointments that often cause a lot of stress and anxiety for those women waiting for their next appointment.
Images are also clearer on the digital equipment which means they are easier and quicker to analyse.
The Southampton and Salisbury Breast Screening Programme boasts some of the highest small cancer detection rates in the country and it is that reputation that has seen it been selected to pilot a high risk screening programme.
Jayne Derham, breast imaging manager at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are planning to digitalise all our breast screening equipment this year before implementing an age extension to the screening programme next year to increase the number of women who have access to the diagnostic services.
“The programme is also piloting a high risk screening programme to support young women who have |a greater chance of developing cancer and we are delighted to be at the |forefront of developments for this vulnerable |group.” The news has been welcomed by cancer patient Ruth Rankin, from Totton , who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009.
The 47-year-old mother-of-three who is working with Breakthrough Breast Cancer to ensure all screening services go digital, said: “I was shocked to find out that Southampton had not yet gone digital but I’m pleased action is finally being taken.
“Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers and going digital would help so many people. It needs to be their top priority because catching the disease early can save lives.
“We can’t have a postcode lottery situation when it comes to screening.”