Breast Screening Unit in Hitchin

24 February 2010, 07:21 | Updated: 24 February 2010, 07:49

From today, a mobile breast screening unit will be parked at Woodside car park for the next four months for women aged 50 and over to be screened for signs of cancer.

One in nine women will develop breast cancer at some point of their lives and evidence shows regular check-ups can reduced breast cancer death rates.

So, the aim of the breast screening is to detect breast cancer at an early stage, often before the woman is aware of any problem.

Currently the NHS Breast Screening Programme saves an estimated 1,400 lives each year in England.

The Mammographer on the unit is Linda Maguire, and tells Heart the whole process only takes no more than 10 minutes:

"We do two pictures of each breast. The x-ray only takes a few seconds; it’s very uncomfortable but not painful. When the x-ray is finished we pack away the films ready to go back to our breast-wing centre in Luton ready for processing."

She tells us that the x-ray equipment can often spot breast cancer before any lump has formed:

"We pick up tiny, tiny, tiny little cells that can be indicative of something of something going on long before you would ever feel it and long before it has had time to spread anywhere."

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