October is breast cancer awareness month

In support of Breast Cancer Awareness month, Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals are raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of breast cancer and the importance of attending breast screening appointments.

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in the UK.  Around one in eight women in the UK are diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime but if detected early, treatment has a higher rate of success.

Breast screening aims to find breast cancers early. It uses an X-ray test called a mammogram that can spot cancers when they’re too small to see or feel.  The test takes a few minutes and might feel uncomfortable but shouldn’t be painful.  As the likelihood of getting breast cancer increases with age, all women aged from 50 to their 71st birthday, and registered with a GP are automatically invited for breast screening every three years.

You can still have screening once you are aged 71 or over and can arrange an appointment by contacting Doncaster & Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals Breast Unit on Tel: 01302 644966.

As well as attending breast screening it’s important women check their breasts regularly for changes and if you do notice any changes please make an appointment to speak to your GP.   Everyone’s breasts are different, and your breasts can change with age and at different times of the month. If you’re worried about breast cancer symptoms, such as a lump or area of thickened tissue in a breast, or you notice that your breasts look or feel different from what’s normal for you, don’t wait to be offered screening, make an appointment with your GP.

A member of staff at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals, Sarah Maye, was diagnosed with breast cancer six years ago and this week has received amazing news.  Sarah takes up the story: ”I was only 40 when I was diagnosed, I have no family history and I never checked my breasts.  I found my lump  when drying myself after a bath.  I would encourage people to not only attend their routine mammograms but to also be breast aware, knowing how your breasts look and feel.  The swift action and support from the health care professionals involved in my care at Doncaster Royal Infirmary  filled me with confidence and even though there were challenging times ahead I knew I would come out the other side and this week I was given the all clear and discharged from the service.”

Suzy Brain England OBE, Chair of the Board at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals, said: “I encourage women to regularly look and feel their breasts, that way, you can spot any changes quickly and report them to your GP.  As well as checking your breasts it’s important to take up your breast screening invites as mammograms can spot cancers when they’re too small to see or feel. If you think you may have missed a breast screening, or have not been invited, contact your local breast unit. The earlier breast cancer is picked up, the easier it is to treat and the more likely the treatment is to be successful.”

NHS breast screening

The Trust has produced a video which walks you through a mammography appointment: https://youtu.be/kvFapvm5lC4

In support of #BreastCancerAwarenessMonth the Trust have produced some short videos with colleagues who were given breast cancer diagnoses. Watch them here: