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Women urged to become breast aware – it could save your life

Women, and especially those aged over 70, are being encouraged to be breast aware with the launch of the latest Be Clear on Cancer campaign.

With breast cancer the most common cancer in England the campaign urges women to get to know how their breasts look and feel normally, so that it is easier to spot anything unusual.

The older you are the more likely you are to get the disease. One in three women who get breast cancer are aged 70 and over, yet they often think that it does not affect them.

Possible signs of breast cancer include:

  • a lump or thickening in your breast or armpit
  • change to the skin of your breast
  • changes in the shape or size of your breast
  • nipple changes
  • nipple discharge
  • pain in your breast
  • any other unusual or persistent changes to your breast

If you notice any changes in your breasts, it is important that you contact your doctor straight away. You’re not wasting anyone’s time and it’s much better to be sure, if only to put your mind at rest.

These signs don’t necessarily mean cancer. It is most likely to be a benign condition that can be easily treated. But if you have any changes to what is normal for you, you should see your GP as finding breast cancer early makes it more treatable. Your GP can refer you to a breast clinic where the staff can reassure you and give any necessary treatment.

Cllr Shelley Powell, Cabinet Member for Public Health, Wellbeing and Customer Services said:

“If you notice any changes in your breasts, it’s important that you contact your doctor straight away. And if a friend or relative says they have any of these symptoms, please insist they see their doctor. A trip to the GP’s surgery could be life saving.

“It’s also really important to attend breast cancer screening appointments when you’re invited. Believe it or not one in three women in Knowsley didn’t attend for breast screening in recent years, yet screening can saves lives.”

Women between the ages of 50 and 70 are currently invited for free screening every three years. Screening can detect breast cancer at an earlier stage making it more treatable. If you’re over 70, you can ask for a free screening every three years.  Just get in touch with your Doctor to arrange.

For further information about the signs and symptoms of breast cancer, please visit the NHS website.

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