Speaking on ‘’Nowt So Strange as Folk’’ – a weekly broadcast centred around modern life in South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire – Christina Dyer, Macmillan Breast Care Nurse at Doncaster Royal Infirmary (DRI), imparted lots of useful information about the importance of breast screening. Across the 15 minute segment, she explained why women should be checking themselves for cancerous lumps, broke down the process of a mammography, and dispelled many of the common myths on the subject. In addition to this, she led a live, on-air examination, demonstrating to the hosts what signs or symptoms they should be looking for and how to carry out the check in a thorough manner.
Over the course of the frank and open discussion, Christina clarified that the most important thing with breast cancer is to catch it early, as this will enable hospital treatments to be more effective. To do this, women should check their breasts on a monthly basis for changes or irregularities and if they notice anything out of the ordinary, then they should make an appointment with their GP.
Speaking about this, Christina said: ‘’We often talk about the need to do monthly checks, but this is actually very rare, as women often say that they cannot find the time. However, one way of incorporating it into your routine is to examine yourself during a wash in the morning. All you need to do is rub your breasts in a circular movement, with a little bit of firmness, making sure that they are roughly symmetrical and watching out for any lumps or areas with thickened tissue. By doing this, you increase your chances of detecting cancer early and getting successful treatment’’.
After conducting the live check, Christina then took a moment to talk about mammograms and field some FAQs. For context, mammograms are essentially X-rays tests that can be used to spot cancers when they are too small to feel and cannot be perceived by the naked eye. They only take a few minutes and whilst it might feel uncomfortable, it should not be painful either. Given that the likelihood of getting breast cancer increases with age, all over 50 women are automatically invited for screening, provided they are registered with a GP. This will occur every three years, until their 71st Birthday. Of course, you can still arrange to have a screening once you pass this age, by contacting the DBTH Breast Unit on Tel: 01302 644966.
Christina’s appearance on ‘’Nowt So Strange as Folk’’ aired on Saturday 5 October, and can still be accessed on the Sounds App. Meanwhile, for a more detailed walkthrough of a mammography appointment, the Trust has produced this video: https://youtu.be/kvFapvm5lC