My first breast screening invitation! I'm now PROPER old

I'm not sure what to make of this. I've just had my first letter inviting me to attend my local West London breast screening unit for a mammogram. Very oddly, the word 'cancer' does not appear anywhere on it. 

Is this:-

  • an oversight?
  • or deliberate, because someone somewhere has decided women need to be protected from such a dangerous word?
  • or because significant numbers of women have objected to the word? I'd love to know why they did, if they did. Cancer awareness of all kinds is threatened by that kind of barrier. 
  • or because all women already know breast screening is only for cancer, not a general breast health assessment? (They do? Are you sure?) 
  • or because mentioning cancer stops women going for screening, and no one wants that, do they

I'm not sure if I have a point in that last bullet. But I may do. No women should be manipulated either into, or away from, going for a mammogram. But nudging women to go for screening by omitting information - in this case omitting to mention it's about cancer as that might stop them going for a mammogram - would be unethical. I wonder if this was the intention? Of course I relalise there may be no intent at all in the absence of the word 'cancer'. It just strikes me as an odd omission and worth thinking about.

Breast cancer is mentioned in the leaflet, so all is not as dotty as it could be. Mind you, if I had iffy English, or reading problems, I might not get as far as reading the leaflet.....

But the leaflet does prepare another battle ground. My questions are long and complicated and I don't intend to fling them randomly into the phone, or fax or a letter (as they suggest) addressed vaguely 'to the breast screening unit'. Who would read it? And there's no email option! But it hardly matters - I'm selective about broadcasting on what could turn out to be an open frequency. I choose when I do it, but on breast screening I'd like my 'private and confidential' basic. Two people in a room. Door closed. 

I'd like a face-to-face conversation with a named professional.   There is no 'face' to the invitation letter. I've already had a totally unenlightening contact with my GP. I'll try and achieve an informed choice at the Unit when I go. But I suspect I may pitch up and and have to come straight back out again, if informed choice turns out to involve looking at the same leaflet again, with crossed fingers and guessing, in front of a mildly irritated radiographer and a waiting room of other women.

I'm happy with discussing odds, on both risks and benefits, as certainty is out of the question - but I do need to know the odds, on risks particularly, in a lot more detail. And I don't, given the information so far. I wonder why not? The content of the leaflets have been recognised as directing and iffy for some years.