Attention: Some are asking for photographs of breasts to “diagnose” cancer

ARS Algarve calls for screenings are always made by letter

A person who pretends to be responsible for the ARS Algarve breast cancer screening program is contacting women in the region, through telephone calls, asking them to take photographs of the breasts as a way of “diagnosing” the disease. ARS Algarve has already gone public to guarantee that it will report the case to the authorities.

According to the Sul Informação, women are being contacted in the municipalities where the Mobile Health Unit is located, which carries out free screening for breast cancer, promoted by the ARS. The unity, at the moment, he is in Albufeira, at least one of the reported cases occurred in Olhão.

The Regional Health Administration, in a statement, has already alerted the population to pay “special attention to false breast cancer screenings carried out through fraudulent telephone calls”.

The ARS Algarve Screening Center says that "has been aware that telephone calls have been made in recent weeks to users in the region, in the name of Breast Cancer Screening."

According to the entity, "the person who contacts calls himself a doctor and is responsible for the ARS Algarve screening program and requests personal data and procedures that have nothing to do with the Breast Cancer Screening Program in the Algarve", namely, according to our newspaper found out, sending photographs of the breasts as a way of “diagnosing” the disease.

The ARS considers that "the acts denounced by our users" are "likely to affect the population's trust in legitimate screenings carried out under the Ministry of Health's programs, with the aim of promoting the prevention and early detection of a certain disease" and will report "these occurrences to the competent authorities".

This is not the first time that there has been fraud involving screening. In 2002, in São Bartolomeu de Messines, several women were contacted by an alleged doctor who ordered them to go out into the street and undress so that they could be asked a satellite mammogram.

Also, more recently, a number of people were contacted for alleged stroke screenings, which after all served to sell products such as mattresses. ARS Algarve reported the situation to ASAE at the time.

The Breast Cancer Screening Program in the Algarve, carried out in partnership with the Associação Oncológica do Algarve and the Centro Hospitalar Universitário do Algarve, started in September 2005 and covers all the Algarve's municipalities.

The screening is done to all women aged 50 to 69 years, registered in the Health Centres, and ARS Algarve emphasizes that «they are always contacted by letter sent by the ARS Algarve Screening Center, with an appointment/invitation to carry out 3D digital mammography with free Tomosynthesis in the Mobile Health Unit».

According to the Regional Health Administration, "only in exceptional cases can users be contacted by telephone, but only to reinforce the screening schedule, and never to request personal information from users of any content."

ARS adds that «the screening actions promoted by ARS Algarve among the population are always advertised in the your website, dissemination that can be complemented through posters, but never by personal contact, namely by telephone».

In case of doubts regarding screenings or about procedures of the ARS Algarve Screening Center, the helpline 289889912 or email [email protected] can be contacted.