Letter: More screening call

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Morale in the cytology screening service is low, unsurprisingly. At least there is a screening service of sorts. Despite the NHS statistic that half of all breast cancer patients are aged over 65, that is the age at which regular appointments for screening ceases, although it is common knowledge that the mammograms of post-menopausal women are more accurately interpreted than in younger women.

The Government has argued that mammography is available on request to that age group, but how many women know that? Most are under the impression that, because they are not called for regular screening, they are no longer vulnerable to breast cancer and therefore ignore symptoms.

It has been said that an extension of this service would be too expensive. It would also avoid needless pain and ease the demand for terminal and geriatric beds. The continued refusal to offer the service to older women is both ageist and sexist. Old women can be stoic only for so long.

MARGARET KELLY

King's Lynn

Norfolk

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