Don’t ignore that breast screening date

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Women in Bellshill are being urged to take up their breast screening appointment, because it can literally be a lifesaver.

Invitations to attend a screening appointment will be sent to women aged between 50 and 70, who are registered with a local GP and are due their three-year scan.

Meanwhile mobile breast screening units will be in the car park of Bellshill’s Tesco until October.

Dr Rosemary Millar (pictured), acting consultant in public health, said: “The letter will come through your door with a date, time and venue.

“If it doesn’t suit you, just call the phone number on the letter to change the appointment - no problem.

“Many women are worried about having the screening test because they think it will be sore.

“It’s important to stress that whilst some women do experience discomfort, it’s only for a very short period – less than a minute.”

She added: “Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, and around 4,800 are diagnosed every year in Scotland.

“Breast screening is one of the most effective ways of detecting cancer before you notice any symptoms.

“That’s because screening can pick up tiny potential problems that you can’t see or feel.

“The earlier breast cancer is found, the easier it is to treat.

“Around 130 women’s lives are saved every year in Scotland as a result of breast screening.”

Women aged over 70 are not invited for an appointment but are welcome to call the screening centre on 0141 800 8800 and make an appointment.

Women under 50 are being told they should also ensure they are “breast aware” to help them spot breast changes early.

Rosemary said: “Being breast aware is about getting to know your own body so you can spot any breast changes early.

“The most important thing you need to know is what is normal for you.

“If you have any questions or concerns about any changes, you should tell your GP about them as soon as you spot them.

“Things that you should look out for include a lump or bump in either breast or armpit, a change in the size and shape of your breast, skin that looks like orange peel or has dimples, leaking or crusting on or around the nipple or if your nipple has turned in.”

Visit http://getcheckedearly.org/breast-cancer to find out more about screening and to see a video of actress Elaine C Smith at her appointment.