Almost a quarter of county women eligible for free breast cancer screenings skipped their appointments last year, despite one in nine women developing the condition.
Now, NHS is urging Lincoln residents to take up its breast screening test at Lincoln County Hospital, which could be life-saving in detecting cancer.
Women aged between 50 and 70 are issued with appointments for the Lincolnshire Breast Screening Service, and should attend every three years when offered.
The test (pictured), also known as a mammogram, means that any abnormalities in the breast can be discovered which could help save lives.
Mobile screening units also travel around local communities for those who cannot get to the hospital.
Last year 24% of women in the county did not turn up to invitations, either cancelling or not turning up on the day to their appointment, according to NHS figures.
Radiology Breast Services Manager Bernadette Trzcinski said: “A mammogram can detect early signs of cancer when it’s too small to feel or hasn’t created any visible breast changes and this early detection means that the chances of a full recovery are much improved.
“One in nine women will develop breast cancer at some time in their life and the risk of breast cancer increases with age.
“We would like to encourage women to accept their breast screening invitation.
“There is no need to be nervous, our staff are professional and considerate and happy to discuss with the women any anxieties they may have.
“If they can’t make it to the appointment time, date and location offered, they can contact us and it can be re-arranged.
“If they decide they do not wish to accept the invitation we would be grateful if they would contact us as we can then offer the time slot to someone else.”
A mammogram helped Janet Banks detect cancer early when she went to her first screening last May.
The screening found an abnormality in Banks’ breast tissue, and a biopsy confirmed breast cancer. She has had surgery and made a full recovery.
She said: “All women who receive an invitation to a screening should make it a priority to attend.
“The tests detect cancer in its early stages when it is most manageable. Cancer at such an early stage otherwise goes unnoticed.
“On receiving my results the staff were empathetic, they explained everything in terms I could understand and answered all of my questions.
“I cannot sing their praises enough.”
Women over 70 can also request an appointment. To book or rearrange an appointment, contact the screening office on 01522 573999