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NHS fail to give disabled patient alternative breast screening appointment

Jane Hudson on her laptop
Jane Hudson on her laptop Image credit: itv.com

A case involving a disabled woman from Yorkshire being refused a routine hospital appointment which could had potentially spotted an aggressive tumour has prompted the NHS to review its breast screening service.

Jane Hudson, who is paralysed, was unable to use the breast cancer machine when she was called in for her first check but she was not offered a second appointment or an alternative test.

Hudson told ITV News: “I came home and I was really upset. I just felt humiliated. It just felt like another barrier as a disabled person that I'm up against.”

Five months later one of her carers noticed a lump on one of Jane’s breasts, after a check she was told it was cancer which had spread to her lymph nodes and told she had to have a mastectomy.

But as Jane explains, she hasn’t had the all clear yet.

“I'm never going to know whether had it been picked up in March then yes, maybe it wouldn't have spread to a lymph node. I'm not going to know that. It's frightening because I don't want other women in the same situation to miss that diagnosis because it can be caught early and you could have the necessary treatment well in advance,” she said.

Jane’s case isn’t unique, as Jackie Snape from Disability Action Yorkshire explains she has heard from another patient who was not offered an alternative appointment.

Snape said: It's shocking, absolutely shocking. I was speaking to another disabled person who has had a similar experience and when they were sent the same thing happened to them. They couldn't have a mammogram but then they were able to go to their GP for regular screening and the GP did detect a lump in this person which thankfully was benign but at least she got something.”

Each year the routine tests or mammograms save the lives of 1,300 women in the UK by detecting early signs of cancer.