The population study for breast cancer is further delayed due to the corona outbreak. Secretary of State Paul Blokhuis (Health) is forced to temporarily extend the period between two investigations, from two years to a maximum of three years.
The aim of examining women aged 50 to 75 every two years was not achieved last year because of staff shortages. Meanwhile, an average of 2.5 years has been between, reports the Rijksinstituut voor healthen milieu (RIVM), which has advised the extension of the deadline.
The preventive examination came at the beginning of this year, during the first corona wave, to lie completely still for some time. It was restarted in June, but due to the corona measures, the capacity is lower than before.
The problems have caused major regional differences, according to the RIVM, and this is undesirable. By extending the deadline nationally to once every three years, these differences are reduced. This also creates space to train new employees. “This means investing in sufficient capacity so that women can be invited again at shorter intervals in the long term.”
About one in seven women get breast cancer in her life. The population examination allows to detect the disease at an early stage, so that the probability of successful treatment is as high as possible. In women participating in it, mammographies are made, X-rays of the breasts. They are judged by radiologists. If they see abnormalities, further research can be done.
The RIVM announced on Thursday that the population survey revealed breast cancer in over 6500 women last year. The Health Institute sees population surveys, which also exist for cervical and colon cancer, as “well running programs that generate significant health benefits.”