Michelle Harris, principal radiographer, Jane Harris, consultant radiographer and Dr Bruno Millet, consultant radiologist, started working at the old Edith Cavell site in 1989 with the first mobile breast screening unit in the region and have seen the service build and develop to one of the most successful in the region.
The team started the service with the limited technology of the day with one x-ray room, film screen mammography and fine needle samples as well as seven community sites where they would rotate the mobile screening vehicles.
Over the years the team has expanded and taken full advantage of the technology available to them. Once they moved into the new city hospital building they transferred across to digital imaging which was a huge leap forward, as well as using more non-invasive procedures and diagnostics which can find much smaller tumours.
The team is now looking forward to building on this further by bringing in some new state-of-the-art 3D biopsy equipment early next year which will enable them to detect very small cancers and could potentially reduce the amount of invasive procedures.
Jane said: “We are extremely fortunate that we have a team who works well together, supports each other and provides opportunities to build and develop the department. As a result we have some of the best outcomes in the region and we are incredibly proud of what we have achieved.
“The most important message that we need to get across though is to make sure that patients come along for breast screening appointments. The risk of cancer increases with age so it is vital that women between the ages of 50 to 70 come to their three yearly appointment and women after that can self-refer. We can only save lives if women get themselves checked.”