A doctor exams mammograms, as part of a regular cancer prevention medical check-up at a clinic in Nice, south eastern France January 4, 2008. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
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As many as 270 women's lives may have been shortened after an IT failure in England's breast cancer screening program meant 450,000 patients were not invited for appointments, Britain's health minister said Wednesday.Women in England between the ages of 50 and 70 are normally invited for breast cancer screening every three years. The IT failure meant that the women affected missed out on a routine appointment before their 70th birthday.England's breast screening failure follows unrelated news in Ireland last week that more than 200 cervical cancer test results should have resulted in earlier intervention.The Irish government said 17 of the patients involved have since died, though it has not yet established the cause of death, and a further 1,500 women who developed cervical cancer over the last 10 years did not have their cases reviewed.
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