We’ll await UK breast screening trial

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HEALTH chiefs will await the outcome of a UK trial before deciding whether breast screening should be extended, Tynwald was told.

The issue was raised by Brenda Cannell (Douglas East) who asked Health Minister David Anderson when the Isle of Man will adopt the recommendation of the Independent Review of Breast Screening led by Professor Mike Richards to extend breast screening to young woman.

But Mr Anderson the situation is not as set out in Mr Cannell’s question.

He said: ‘The report of the independent panel into the effectiveness of breast screening chaired by Prof. Michael Marmot and commissioned by Prof. Mike Richards has not categorically confirmed that breast screening programmes should be extended.

‘The report states two randomised control trials will be conducted with the intention of rolling out the programme from 2016 onwards, if the trials show such an extension is effective and the benefits outweigh the harms. The Isle of Man Department of Health, like the English NHS, await the outcome of the trial, as the trial results may suggest modifications to that programme.’

Mrs Cannell insisted the report supported extending the level of breast screening to include younger women and older women and this was currently being rolled out in the UK, where some NHS trusts have extended it already. ‘When are we going to do the same? she asked.

‘We are waiting for the trials to be conducted and the evidence of those trials will inform whether we do the same,’ Mr Anderson replied.

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