270 Women May Have Died Due to Breast Cancer Scan Error in England

Mammogram reminders weren’t sent to thousands of women in England because of a 2009 computer error. (GETTY IMAGES)

The deaths of as many as 270 women in England are being investigated for connections to a computer error that led them to miss crucial breast cancer screenings.

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Jeremy Hunt said Wednesday that some 450,000 women aged 68 to 71 didn’t receive notice they were due for a breast cancer screening because of a major 2009 glitch, and that between 135 and 270 women who recently died of breast cancer could have missed the opportunity for early diagnosis.

Although the error occurred almost a decade ago, Public Health England only recently discovered it in January. An independent investigation has been initiated.

Letters reminding women to get a mammogram were supposed to automatically be sent out as part of the country’s National Health Service AgeX trial. However, a computer error led to the tests being canceled and the reminders not being sent, according to The Guardian.

Hunt “wholeheartedly” apologized on Wednesday to the women affected and their families and said the supervision of the AgeX program had “not been good enough,” BBC reported.

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SOURCE: U.S. News and World Report, Alexa Lardieri