The British Department of Health is offering breast cancer screening to survivors of Hodgkin's disease who years earlier underwent radiotherapy treatment for their disease.
They issued this recommendation in response to findings by the British National Cancer Research Institute, which found that women below the age of 35 who received such radiotherapy since 1962 could have an increased risk of developing breast cancer.
"Many of these women are currently under the age when they will be automatically invited for screening as part of the NHS Breast Screening Programme, which can assist in providing treatment at the earliest opportunity," the Department of Health noted.
Department of Health experts estimated that women treated in childhood had a one-in-three to one-in-seven risk of developing breast cancer over the next 25 years. The risk was slightly lower at one-in-four to one-in-seven for women treated in their 20s.
The UK's Breakthrough Breast Cancer chief executive Delyth Morgan said: "We would like to reassure women that this applies to a specific group of around 5,000 women who have received supradiaphragmatic radiotherapy for Hodgkin's disease over the last 42 years.
"Anyone concerned about their breast cancer risk should talk to their GP," she added.
British National Health Service (http://www.nhs.uk)