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Breast Cancer Awareness Month

28 September 2015 in Health
Women across Newham are being urged to become more informed about the early signs of breast cancer as part of next month’s (October) Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in the UK with around 55,000 people diagnosed with the disease every year. However, if it is caught early enough it can be treated.

It is important that women aged between 47 and 73 years old attend screening sessions when they are invited to help catch signs of the disease as early as possible. However, as part of the national awareness month NHS Newham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Newham Council are calling on women to ensure they regularly check their breasts for anything unusual including:
  • Changes in the size and shape of the breasts
  • Changes in nipple position
  • A rash on or around the nipple
  • Discharge from the nipple
  • Changes to the appearance of the skin of the breasts
  • Swelling, thickening, lumps or constant pain in the breasts, nearby area or under the armpit.
Everyone’s breasts are different. Some people have lumpy breasts, or one breast that is larger than the other. This is why it is important that people are familiar with the look and feel of their breasts and if they notice any changes they should see their GP.

If further investigation is needed the GP will arrange an X-ray of the breast, called a mammogram. There is no need to be anxious about having a mammogram as four in every five women who have a mammogram have a normal reading.

The NHS Breast Screening Programme invites women between 47 and 73 years old to have a mammogram every three years. Women will receive their first invitation, from the GP practice that they are registered with, anytime between reaching 47 and 50 years of age.

Dr Lizi Goodyear board member of NHS Newham CCG and a local GP, said:

“I encourage women to regularly look at and feel their breasts. By looking at and feeling your breasts on a regular basis, you will become familiar with your breasts and know what is normal for you and then be more able to notice something out of the ordinary. If you do notice something unusual it may not necessarily be cancer but it is important to see your GP.

“The earlier breast cancer is picked up, the easier it is to treat it and the more likely the treatment is to be successful.“

Councillor Clive Furness, mayoral advisor for adults and health, said:

“Breast cancer is the most common cancer found in women in this country and it is important that we do our bit to help raise awareness of it and encourage all women to attend breast cancer screening appointments.

“People have a better chance of fighting the disease if it is detected early. The simple message to women across Newham is know the signs of breast cancer, carry our regular checks of your breasts, attend breast cancer screening appointments and do not ignore anything out of the usual.”

Further information on how to check your breasts and the signs and symptoms of breast cancer can be found on the NHS choices website.