Radiologists to retrain after breast screening alert

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Two consultant radiologists have agreed to undergo further training following concerns raised by medical staff over breast screening, it emerged yesterday. The concerns centred on the interpretation of tiny calcium deposits which showed up in mammography films of nine women who attended the East Devon Breast Screening Service, run from Exeter.

Dr John Brennan, from the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, and Dr Graham Urquhart, from Torbay Hospital, are to undergo re-training at an NHS Breast Screening Programme training centre in Nottingham in the specific area of microcalcification interpretation. Meanwhile, the RDE and South Devon Healthcare Trusts said they would be reviewing their breast screening service which will continue on a day-to-day basis.

The nine women were among 12 who developed breast cancer after an initial screening - and before the routine three-year recall - and were being treated for it in hospital. The RDE Trust's chief executive, Angela Pedder, said that two of the nine women had died, but added: "That does not mean the deaths are the result of this issue." The trust set up a helpline for women concerned about the issue and in the few hours after it was launched yesterday morning a total of 110 women had called for information.