Breast cancer: computer bug excludes 450,000 Britons from screening program

In the UK, a computer malfunction has excluded 450,000 women from the breast cancer screening program in the last 9 years: an algorithmic error that could have killed 135 to 270 women.

British Health Minister Jeremy Hunt acknowledged on Wednesday that a computer bug had excluded 450,000 women from the national breast cancer screening program for almost 10 years. A serious technical malfunction that could have killed 135 to 270 women.

"According to the latest estimates I received from PHE, it is estimated that between 2009 and 2018, 450,000 women aged 68 to 71 were not invited to their last screening," he said. before the British Parliament. The health minister said, however, that it is "unlikely" that the death toll is "higher" and that it could be "considerably lower".

Public Health England (PHE) has just repaired this malfunction due to an algorithmic error. According to the BBC, 309,000 women are still alive out of the 450,000 undetected. "For them, as for others, it is incredibly shocking to know that you have not received an invitation to the latest timely and totally overwhelming screening to hear that you have lost or are about to lose a human being. liked because of administrative incompetence, "he acknowledged.

A mammogram of "catching up"

Emma Greenwood, head of the UK cancer research center Cancer Research UK, said in a statement "very disturbing to learn that so many women have not been invited to be screened over a long period of time". In the United Kingdom, women aged 50 to 70 are invited to be screened every three years.

A call for a "catch-up" mammogram will be sent to each of the "forgotten" women under 72 years old. A free number has been set up for older women. "Any woman who wants to have a mammogram will be received within six months," promised Jeremy Hunt.

Video: Understanding Breast Cancer (February 2020).