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7 June 2010, 05:15
Breast screening for women in Dorset is now completely digital meaning better images and a faster service for the 98,000 women currently eligible for the test.
The unit at Poole Hospital is one of the first in the UK to go fully digital, and the investment is part of expansion plans to provide routine screening for both younger and older women.
Currently, women aged between 50-70 years are invited for screening every three years, with ladies over the age of 70 able to invite themselves for screening if they wish, but within the next three years, the breast screening unit is hoping to expand the programme to include women aged between 47-74 years.
The move to digital technology will support the screening of younger women, as the equipment provides better images for women with denser breasts.
Since it opened its doors in 1990, the DBSU has carried out over 420,000 screening examinations and detected more than 2,900 cancers. Thanks to the screening service, these cancers were picked up at an earlier stage than would otherwise have been possible, often meaning less invasive surgery for patients and improved survival rates.
Dr Michael Creagh-Barry, Consultant Radiologist and Director of the Dorset Breast Screening Unit said:
"We are delighted to be one of the first units to be able to offer a full digital service to the women we screen. The DBSU has been at the forefront of screening since it launched in 1990, and this new digital technology allows us to continue to improve the quality of the screening programme for women in Dorset."