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Breast Cancer Focus for EU Visit To London Breast Insititute at The Princess Grace Hospital

Emphasis on early diagnosis as key to breast cancer approach Europe-wide

Breast cancer detection and treatment was the focus of the EU President’s representative in the UK on an official visit to the London Breast Institute at the Princess Grace Hospital. The institute’s research into breast density and the higher diagnostic success of digital mammography was explained on the tour of the facilities.

UK Representative of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union and Slovenian Ambassador to the UK, Iztok Mirosic toured the site, later meeting with the hospital’s chief executive Susan Smith, breast surgeon Professor Kefah Mokbel and Dr Nick Perry, director of the London Breast Institute. Discussion centred on the early breast cancer diagnosis, treatment and research initiatives promoted at the Institute and shared hopes of fostering pan-European links with breast cancer ‘centres of excellence’.

Digital mammography has proven to be an effective method of detecting early breast cancers, even where no clear physical symptoms have yet presented.

Breast tissue in women may be fatty, glandular or a mix of both. Those with more glandular breasts show denser tissue on a mammogram. The more dense the tissue, the more difficult it is to identify abnormalities on traditional mammogram x-rays, making it essential to use digital mammography that reveals potential breast cancers at the earliest stages of development.

The London Breast Institute presented its first research project to the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) annual conference in November 2007. Links discovered between density of breast tissue and city-dwelling women, shed light on the urgent need to screen urban women using digital mammographic technology.

At its Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs meeting in June this year, the EU recognises breast cancer as the number one cancer killer in women.

In 2009 the UK’s National Health service is plans to reduce the age women are first invited to its analog mammography screening program from 50 to 47 years old.