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Cancer Screening Programmes

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 14 November 2018

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Questions (227)

Martin Heydon


227. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Health the status of the family risk clinic at St. James's Hospital, Dublin 8, which was suspended in April 2018; his plans for the reopening of this clinic; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47351/18]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

St James's Hospital, as a designated cancer centre, runs a Rapid Access Breast Clinic for Symptomatic Breast Disease.

In parallel with the Rapid Access Breast Clinic, a Familial Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Service has evolved to provide a clinical service to women who are considered to be at higher than average risk of developing cancer in their lifetime. Due to increased referral rates to the symptomatic breast disease clinic, as well as to the 'family risk' clinic, the hospital is currently prioritising the symptomatic patients to ensure that a quality, timely and sustainable service is available to them. This has resulted in the suspension of the family risk service, other than for urgent cases.

One of the hospital's two mammography machines which was at end of life has recently been replaced. A third machine is on order and is expected to be installed late this year or early in 2019. Capacity for mammography has been a major part of the challenge in meeting demand for breast services in St James's.

The intention is to restore the Familial Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Service in St James's early in the new year.