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Support for women with SCI to have mammograms

Robotic arm enables women with spinal cord injury to have mammograms

At the Rebuilding Lives Conference last month one of our speakers Jane Hudson shared with us the fact that, due to her spinal cord injury, she was unable to have a mammogram, and subsequently discovered she had breast cancer. Unfortunately, this is reality for many women with SCI and it needs to change.

Our team visited York University on recently to check out an incredible project, run by the Institute Safe Autonomy (in conjunction with Cancer Research UK), developing a robotic arm to enable women with spinal cord injury to have mammograms, by positioning them correctly.

This could literally save lives and SIA are fortunate enough to be a part of the project advisory board, so we will keep you updated on on progress.

robot arm group photo

“Yesterday, we welcomed delegates from the Spinal Injuries Association to our Robot-Assisted Living Lab at the Institute for Safe Autonomy, University of York. Together with Dr. Roisin Bradley (York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust) we presented our Cancer Research UK (CRUK) funded project on Robotic Positioning Assistance in Breast Screening. This innovative project exemplifies our lab’s mission: creating robots that assist humans. A big thank you to Jane Hudson for motivating this amazing project.” Jihong Zhu, PhD (Assistant Prof in Robotics, Robot-Assisted Living LAb)

Presentation to delegates by Jihong Zhu, PhD

Jane’s Story

“Four years ago I was unable to have my first mammogram due to my limited mobility linked to a spinal injury.  Later that year I was diagnosed with breast cancer, had I been able to have a mammogram it would have been picked up earlier.

Fast forward a few years and some campaigning to raise awareness of the issue, I am thrilled to share that I am part of a project team working towards ensuring equal access for all to breast screening by utilising robotics and AI technology.

A big thanks to Jihong Zhu, PhD at the Institute for Safe Autonomy at University of York and Dr Roisin Bradley at York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Cancer Research UK (CRUK) for funding the project.”

Jane is the founder of ‘What’s Breast for You’ which campaigns for accessible mammograms. Follow her on Instagram.

jane hudson in york


For more information on women’s health and SCI please visit: 

BODY MATTERS – WOMEN’S HEALTH