Routine breast screening services are fully operational in Lancashire and South Cumbria. Local people are being assured that it is safe to attend this quick but vital appointment if invited.
One in eight women in the UK are diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. The risk increases with age, which is why all people between the ages of 50 to 70 who have breasts, due to either naturally occurring oestrogen or oestrogen hormone therapy are invited for screening every three years.
Breast cancer can affect anyone with breasts, so some trans or non-binary people are also eligible for screening – talk to your GP or Gender Identity Clinic about this.
Breast screening aims to find breast cancers early. In the meantime, if you’re worried about breast cancer symptoms such as a lump or an area of thickened tissue in the breast, or you notice that your breasts look or feel different, do not wait to be offered a screening appointment, talk to your GP.
Dr Neil Smith, Primary Care Director and Cancer Research UK GP for Lancashire and South Cumbria Cancer Alliance said: “Breast cancer can affect you at any age, so it’s important to be ‘Breast Aware’ and check your breasts for lumps or a change in size or shape at least once a month. If you notice anything unusual, please don’t wait – contact your GP straight away.
“In most cases it won’t be cancer, but it’s best to get checked over because early diagnosis saves lives.”
Routine breast screening services are now fully up and running, and those who are due for an appointment will receive an invitation letter with information on how to book an appointment.
Breast screening involves having an X-ray (mammogram) at a special clinic or mobile breast screening unit.
Usually two X-rays of each breast are taken – one from above and one from the side. The X-ray test can spot cancers that are too small to see or feel.
The appointment also provides a chance to talk about any problems or concerns. The screening process requires undressing to the waist, so it may be easier to wear trousers or a skirt – rather than a dress.
The mammogram is checked for abnormalities, and the results will be sent to you and your GP within two weeks.
Extra measures are in place to keep everyone safe, such as staff wearing PPE and patients wearing a face covering.
People who have symptoms of Covid-19 or are self-isolating should rearrange their appointment.
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