Breast cancer: missed screening in Charente

Not finding an appointment can be a deterrent.

Karine Rondinaud, 55, resident of Touvre, testifies to this difficulty in getting tested. She already has two exams to her credit, as part of the organized course. “Every two years I receive a letter telling me that I have to undergo a check-up. » The last missive dates from July. And since then, Karine is still waiting for a chance to meet. However, this fifty-something is determined to have this X-ray performed. “I called, say, a number of times”, she quips. At the “mammo” center in Soyaux, in this case, located behind the clinical centre. According to Karine, “the secretaries always give me the same answer, namely that they don’t have the radiologists’ schedules”.

Two months of waiting

On social networks, other testimonies of Charentaises abound in this direction: Martine and Valérie deplore waiting for an appointment “since may” as Marylin scoffs at the dysfunction of ” prevention “. Myriam ensures that the deadlines are downright “ deterrents ».

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At the Angoulême hospital center, Sabine Scorcione, health manager in the medical imaging department, talks about “a period of two months to obtain a mammo appointment”. “There are a lot of requests and we have problems with medical personnel”, she explains. Consequence: mammography “not open every day”. The rhythm is “four days a week” outside school holidays and only one day per week during holidays. Specifying however that in the presence of an anomaly in a breast, the patients are directed in a priority manner. At the center of Soyaux, a radiologist is annoyed on the phone: “We are simply facing a shortage of doctors, mirroring the national situation”.

Loss of luck

However, the Charente seems to be affected unevenly by this congestion. Within the medical imaging department of the Barbezieux hospital, “we have three weeks to a month of delay”, comments a medical secretary. Jean-Luc Mornet is a healthcare manager in the establishment’s medical imaging department. It evokes “a very recent device” with which the hospital has been equipped and which allows the opening of “three full days per week dedicated solely to mammography”. The establishment has even just added the services of a temporary radiologist dedicated solely to this examination. “And not all of our beaches are full,” points out Jean-Luc Mornet. The Cognac clinic, which has two-week lead times, is seeing more and more “women arriving from Angoulême to find a meeting quickly”.

Does this pitfall in passing a mammo constitute a loss of chance? At the New Aquitaine cancer screening coordination center, Félicie Gagnadour, public health officer, recognizes this. “Yes, not finding a date can be a deterrent for some women. »

For Michel Harmand, vice-president of the League against Cancer, “between the good intention and the reality, there is a whole world”, he whispers on the phone. Regretting that “the department is well equipped with mammographs, which we help to finance, but sometimes there are no radiologists to operate them”.

There are a lot of requests and we have problems with medical personnel.

For Marie-Claude Savoye, communication officer at the ARS, with nine medical imaging centers on its territory, the Charente would be “in the middle high”in view “the time between the invitation to the mammogram and the performance of the examination”. This one “varying from 2 to 13 weeks in the department, depending on the geographical site. »

While screening from the age of 50 is sometimes questioned (risk of over-diagnosis or over-treatment in particular), for Laetitia Mallet, the parade to this reality remains self-examination. Poitou-Charentes ambassador of Jeune et Rose, an association supporting patients under 50, this Gond-Pontolvienne had a double breast cancer at the age of 26 and 34 that only touch detected. “ Many of the women we connect with have saved their own lives.”recalls the one who believes more than ever in this approach.


“In Charente, only 47.6% of targeted women take part in organized screening”recalls Benjamin Gandouet, director general of the Regional Center for the Coordination of Cancer Screening in New Aquitaine. “Compared to 54.6% on average, in New Aquitaine. » The challenge for health authorities is therefore ” to go seek “ the most reluctant women in order to fill “social inequalities in health”.

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