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Up To 270 Women In England May Have Died After Breast Cancer 'Screening Error'

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Health secretary Jeremy Hunt announced an independent review for breast cancer screenings in England after thousands of women were reportedly denied, at least 135 to 270 of whom may have succumbed to the illness.

Screening Failures

Since 2009, an estimate of 450,000 of women were not invited back for a second screening due to technical malfunction. The malfunction was not fixed until January of this year and has affected women ages 68-71. Hunt stated that of the 450,000 women that were not invited back for another screening, only 309,000 are assumed to still be alive.

"For them and others it is incredibly upsetting to know that you did not receive an invitation for screening at the correct time and totally devastating to hear you may have lost or be about to lose a loved one because of administrative incompetence," Hunt stated.

Hunt stated that a computer algorithm failure was at fault for why women who had just turned 70 were not given an invitation for a second check-up. The health secretary continued that he was deeply sorry for any "pain" that was caused by this error, and that by the end of May, women under the age of 75 will be offered a routine mammogram.

Hunt also stated that any women who would like a mammogram will receive one within six months.

How To Lower Your Risk Of Breast Cancer

Breast cancer has been described as a form of cancer that develops from the breast tissue. Signs that a person may have breast cancer include a lump in the breast, a change in the breast shape, fluid coming from the nipple, or a newly inverted nipple.

According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in America. At least one in eight women in the United States will develop the illness.

On May 1, the Megyn Kelly Today show hosted a segment dedicated to breast cancer. Dr. Kristi Funk, a breast surgeon who has treated breast cancer survivor Sheryl Crow, gave six simple pieces of advice to help lower a woman's risk of getting breast cancerFunk suggested that women should find inner peace, work out more often, not avoid soy products, be mindful of alcohol intake, know their family history, and watch what they eat. 

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