Prevent Breast Cancer patron and Coronation Street actor Sally Dynevor is fronting our campaign to build the National Breast Imaging Academy, the solution to the severe workforce shortages across breast imaging in the UK.

Having been diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009 when she was 46 years old, Sally is passionate about doing all she can to help us build this Academy, which will enable us to see up to 13,000 more patients a year, greatly enhancing breast care services and saving many lives.

Speaking with ITV Granada, she said:

“I know first-hand the difference that early detection can make, and to think that women in the future might have to wait for mammograms or breast screenings because of staff shortages is terrifying.

I wholeheartedly support Prevent Breast Cancer and the Manchester Foundation Trust Charity with this appeal, which will not only make Manchester a national centre for breast imaging training but will have a very real impact on the lives of women in the area.”

Sharing the story of her breast cancer diagnosis with BBC North West, Sally said:

“You never think that’s going to happen to you. When somebody tells you that news, and it comes really out of the blue, it’s really shocking.”

“I don’t want my daughters to go through what I’ve been through so what Prevent is doing is really important.”

Sally acknowledged that she had only started checking herself after reading Coronation Street scripts, where her on-screen character Sally Webster would soon be receiving the news that she had breast cancer.

Speaking with BBC Breakfast, she recalled:

“There was a particular day in 2009, I was reading the scripts. And I thought, ‘I’m just going to go and see our nurse and see what she thinks’, because I felt something very, very tiny. When the doctor told me ‘You have breast cancer’, I fainted. Then I said, ‘I think you’re getting me mixed up with my character’.”

Prevent Breast Cancer Co-Founder and Honorary President Lester Barr was Sally’s consultant at the time of her diagnosis, and worked with the team at ITV as a researcher to ensure the breast cancer storyline was medically accurate.

Lester Barr talking about the National Breast Imaging Academy on BBC North West

On building the National Breast Imaging Academy, Lester Barr said:

“Here in the UK, we can be very proud of our NHS breast screening programme, which is aimed at women over 50 and which saves thousands of lives every year.

As well as that, we have a network of diagnostic breast clinics up and down the country for women of any age who find a lump. But what is happening is that we are facing a workforce shortage.

We now need to train the next generation of doctors, nurses, radiographers, radiologists, mammographers.”

It’s estimated 12,000 people could be living with undiagnosed breast cancer due to 1.5 million fewer breast screening appointments being carried out during the pandemic.

Backed by Sally Dynevor, our appeal for a new National Breast Imaging Academy would enable up to 13,000 extra patients to be seen at The Nightingale Centre each year, as well as further dedicated space for research into breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Find out more about the National Breast Imaging Academy and make a donation today.

Published On: October 27th, 2023 /

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About Prevent Breast Cancer

Prevent Breast Cancer is the only UK charity entirely dedicated to the prediction and prevention of breast cancer – we’re committed to freeing the world from the disease altogether. Unlike many cancer charities, we’re focused on preventing, rather than curing. Promoting early diagnosis, screening and lifestyle changes, we believe we can stop the problem before it starts. And being situated at the only breast cancer prevention centre in the UK, we’re right at the front-line in the fight against the disease. Join us today and help us create a future free from breast cancer. If you have any questions or concerns, email us today.