500 women in the Roscommon town region have been called for screening under the BreastCheck programme and screening is expected to begin in early May. Letters were posted to the first group of 500 women on Monday and individual appointments will follow. The screening will be conducted in a new mobile screening unit which will be located at Roscommon County Hospital from April 30th and work is expected to start on May 3rd. News that screening is to begin in early May was welcomed this week by Fianna Fáil election candidates Michael Finneran and John Ellis. Speaking on Tuesday afternoon, Deputy Michael Finneran said, ‘The Minister for Health Mary Harney confirmed to me this afternoon that a mobile BreastCheck unit will be located at Roscommon County Hospital from the end of this month. It is hoped that screening will begin on May 3rd,’ he said. ‘Securing the establishment of BreastCheck in Roscommon has been a big priority of mine and I am delighted to be able to announce this development. Detecting cancers early is vital and this is a service that may well help save lives. ‘BreastCheck sent out 500 letters yesterday to women across the county, and these letters will soon be followed by appointment notifications. The total screening population in Roscommon is estimated to be 4,500 so it is hoped that the mobile unit will be able to make considerable progress. ‘This announcement comes in advance of the completion of the static unit in Galway which is expected this September. The unit will be operational by October meaning that even more women in the west will be able to avail of this vital service,’ he said. Deputy Ellis said, ‘This is a very welcome announcement for the people of Roscommon. It is key policy of the Government’s cancer control policy to detect and treat cancers as early as possible. ‘I would recommend all women who receive a letter from BreastCheck to avail of this vital service. The opening of this mobile unit in Roscommon comes ahead of the completion of the static site in Galway, which is set to be completed in September and operation in October,’ he said.