Manchester facing a ‘time bomb’ due to breast cancer workforce shortages, says shocking report

Women in Manchester are failing to attend breast cancer screenings and are more likely to die from the disease before they reach 75.

A new report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Breast Cancer (APPGBC) has revealed that women in the North West are among the worst affected by breast cancer as they fail to attend crucial, routine screenings.

Around 42,000 women are diagnosed each year in England with chances of survival significantly increased the sooner breast cancer is detected: 90% of stage 1 breast cancer patients survive for five years, but just 15% of stage 4 diagnoses survive.

However these statistics aren’t persuading enough Manchester women towards mammograms.

Only 68% of eligible women (aged 50-70) in the North West are attending screenings within six months of invitation – a worrying 5.7% decline in the last ten years.

Although screenings attendance rates are at a low in Manchester, the region is outperforming the rest of the country in early detection and care.

The report noted specifically that Manchester is leading the way in terms of care and outcomes, with The Christie Hospital firmly at the forefront of medical advancements.

A new initiative run by the hospital in Withington sees nurse-led clinics for all patients diagnosed with incurable secondary breast cancer, something which should be followed by other regions, the report suggests.

The report has support from a number of MPs and looks to NHS England and Public Health England to address the geographical variation in breast cancer services across the country.

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