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Cancer Screening

Volume 124: debated on Friday 18 December 1987

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will now announce the result of the application from Quest for a Test for Cancer, received on 31 July, for funding clinical trials of cervical smear testing using an integrated microdensitometer.

I refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. Member for Belfast, South (Rev. M. Smyth) on 17 December.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what estimate he has made of the cost of establishing a national breast cancer screening service to provide screening for all women over 16 years of age at least once every three years.

The national breast cancer screening service, which we are introducing over the next three years, is based on the conclusions in the report of a Government appointed working group, chaired by Professor Sir Patrick Forrest. The report concluded that the effectiveness of screening by mammography has so far been demonstrated only for women aged 50 and over and recommended that the priority for any screening programme should be to offer an initial screen to as many woman as possible aged 50–64 years.We expect to spend about £55 million in the period 1987/88 to 1989/90 to set up the computerised call and recall screening service for all women in the age group 50–64, with a service, on request, for women of 65 and over.