EASTENDERS star Laila Morse officially opened a new breast screening suite at Charing Cross Hospital.
The actress, who plays Mo Harris in the long-running BBC soap, took a tour of the unit run by the West of London Breast Screening Service and replacing the mobile vans that were previously used last Thursday (11).
In Hammersmith and Fulham, just 55 per cent of women invited for breast screeing attend their appointment - below the 64 per cent average in London and 73 per cent average nationwide.
And Ms Morse has urged women in the borough to take advantage of the new facility at the Fulham Palace Road hospital.
She said: “I really urge women to attend when they are invited for an appointment. Screening only takes a few minutes and saves the lives of more than a thousand women in England each year.”
In the UK, women aged between 50 and 70 are invited for screening once every three years while around 20 women from the borough die of breast cancer each year.
Deborah Cunningham, lead clinician for women’s cancers at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “The new unit provides excellent facilities for women living in H&F.
"The state-of-the-art equipment makes it easier and faster for any breast abnormalities to be seen and a lower dose of radiation is used to acquire the images. The new unit also offers an improved environment to the mobile screening vans previously used.”
“Early diagnosis of breast cancer means a better chance of survival," added Julie Somers, programme manager for the West of London Breast Screening Service. “Screening can detect breast cancer early, when it is too small for you or your doctor to see or feel.
"And we know that women who had early-stage breast cancer detected through screening and had treatment afterwards can live as long as the rest of the UK female population.”
For more information please visit www.westlondonbreastscreening.nhs.uk.