New breast screening unit to open in Wigan borough to speed up cancer diagnosis

A new breast cancer screening unit is set to open in the Wigan borough as the Government pledges to invest £10m in services nationwide.
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Plans have been revealed for 28 new units and nearly 70 upgrades, which it is hoped will speed up cancer diagnosis for tens of thousands of women.

The investment includes 16 new mobile breast screening units, 13 additional static units, 58 live remote access upgrades for existing units and 10 software upgrades to carry out ultrasounds and X-rays.

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Leigh InfirmaryLeigh Infirmary
Leigh Infirmary
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Among them will be a static unit for Leigh Infirmary, adding to the facilities already provided in Wigan by South Lancashire breast screening service.

Health minister Helen Whately said: “Catching cancer early saves lives. Last year 100,000 people were diagnosed with cancer at stages one and two. This is the highest proportion on record, but we want to do better still.

“These breast cancer screening units will mean more people can get checked for cancer closer to home.

“Most people will get the reassurance of an all-clear but for those who are diagnosed, catching their cancer early is the best thing we can do – and gets them on the path to early treatment too.”

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The Government is working to improve diagnosis, treatment and survival rates as part of the NHS Long Term Plan.

It hopes that by 2028, 75 per cent of people with cancer will be diagnosed at stages one and two, up from 55 per cent, and 55,000 more people each year will survive cancer for at least five years after diagnosis.

Breast screening is thought to save around 1,300 women every year, with around 21,000 cancers detected.

Ciarán Norris, head of campaigns and public affairs at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “We welcome any intervention that helps to speed up diagnosis and improve access to cancer screening services, particularly in areas where they are most needed, as we know the earlier someone is diagnosed the better their outcome is likely to be.

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“Alongside this, we also look forward to working with the Government on steps to grow and sustain the cancer workforce, to ensure our cancer services can provide timely treatment and care for everyone living with cancer, both now and in the future.”

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