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Breast Cancer: Screening

Health written question – answered on 8th November 2011.

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Photo of Andrew Smith Andrew Smith Labour, Oxford East

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress is being made on the provision of digital mammography in NHS screening services.

Photo of Paul Burstow Paul Burstow The Minister of State, Department of Health

Local national health service breast cancer screening programmes in England are replacing their current analogue (film) systems with digital systems (direct digital mammography—DDM). As at October 2011, 67 (83.7%) of the 80 local programmes had at least one DDM X-ray set, and 33 (41%) were fully digital. Local programmes have been advised to implement direct digital as quickly as possible as the independent Advisory Committee on Breast Cancer Screening (has said that running both film and digital systems together is inefficient. 13 programmes (16%) are still to implement digital mammography.

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