Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will direct NHS England to prioritise women with dense breast tissue when tackling the cancer screening backlog accrued as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.
In addressing the cancer screening backlog resulting from COVID-19, NHS England and NHS Improvement have made prioritisation decisions based upon expert clinical advice and engagement with Public Health England (PHE). On the basis of a United Kingdom National Screening Committee evidence review, PHE has advised that breast density measurements are not yet accurate enough to be safely used in routine breast screening. There is also no readily available breast density measurement for women currently in the programme. It is therefore not advisable or feasible to prioritise invitations for breast screening by breast tissue density.