The NHS currently screens women between the ages of 50 and 70 for breast cancer every three years. This week we heard the dreadful news that a technical issue dating back to 2009 and only caught this year was responsible for some women in England missing out on the last of their invitations for screening. Which means 450,000 women aged between 68 and 71 have missed their last screening and tragically some lives will have been cut short. I asked the RT Hon Jeremy Hunt MP about how our local GP surgeries will be able to cope whilst women wait for a letter to let them know if they were affected.
My heart goes out to all those women – I saw my Grandmother suffer and die from this dreadful cancer. For information if you or a loved one has been affected call 0800 169 2692. Do keep trying if the line is busy but you can also get some help from Breast Cancer Care or Macmillan Cancer Support.
Screening is only one way to detect breast cancer. Doctors advise regularly checking your breasts for lumps or thickening in the breast or armpit and a change in the size, shape or feel of the breast. Also look out for breast skin changes like puckering or redness, nipple discharge, changes to the position of the nipple or a rash on or around the nipple or the nipple sinking into the breast.