It is best to be breast aware!
“Be clear on cancer” is a Department of Health campaign which aims to improve the public’s awareness of the symptoms of certain cancers, and to encourage people with those symptoms to visit their GPs.
With more than 39,000 women diagnosed with breast Cancer each year, breast cancer is England’s most common cancer, and one third of all breast cancer cases are diagnosed in women over 70.
In Swindon, 48 women over 70 years died of breast cancer in 2008. Fortunately, there are new and very effective ways of treating breast cancer now, but they all depend on finding the disease early.
We know diagnosing breast cancer early means treatment can be less aggressive, and with greater success rate.
As well as regular breast cancer screening, it is important to know normal shape and feel of the breast and to get advice when any changes are noticed. The screening takes x-ray images of the breast tissues to look for early signs of breast cancer. In most cases, the x-rays are normal, or show benign disease. Some x-rays may show suspicious changes, and in these cases the women are invited for further investigation.
As part of the national be clear on cancer awareness campaign, Swindon has a team of volunteers dedicated to raising awareness of the symptoms of breast cancer, who can offer advice, and where to get more support.
Sylvia Baker, a volunteer for the campaign says: “unfortunately, women over 70 are more likely to delay seeing their doctor for unusual breast symptoms, so, breast cancer is often diagnosed at a later stage in this age group. We hope this campaign will increase the number of women over 70 who know what to look for, and who speak to their doctor about any symptoms they may have, as soon as they spot them.”
Our volunteers may be visiting at a venue near you. To find out more about speaking to one of the volunteers, please contact Peter Kent, the Health Ambassador Coordinator on 078248437.