Screening not to be extended

Breast cancer screening will not be extended to older women next year, it has emerged.

The BreastCheck programme currently provides free mammograms to all women aged 50 to 64 every two years.

The Programme for Government includes provision for the extension of BreastCheck to women in the 65 to 69 age group.

HSE director general Tony O’Brien said yesterday there was no funding available to allow for the extension of the programme in 2014 even though, as the Irish Cancer Society pointed out, it was due to be rolled out next year.

The society’s head of advocacy and communication, Kathleen O’Meara, said the extension of the programme had been promised for many years.

“The Irish Cancer Society will be campaigning to have this decision reversed,” she said.


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