Breast Screening Reaches Thousands

4 October 2010, 06:00

Almost 47-thousand women in part of our region had their breasts screened last year –that’s 75% of the total number of women who were invited that year.

Heart’s got the figures for the start of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Around 58 women in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire visit the breast screening vans that are stationed in places including Luton and Hemel every day.

Babs Arnold is the Superintendent Radiographer at the L&D. She’s been telling us that all women are contacted to be invited for a screening when the reach the age of 50 – and when they attend that screening it only takes about 10 minutes.

Click here to hear Babs take our reporter through the screening process.

Nationally breast cancer affects around 46,000 women each year, most of them are over 50 but younger women and even men can get it too.

The good news is that there are lots of things that you can do to help reduce your chances of getting it.

Dr Hilary Angwin from NHS Hertfordshire says:

"Research shows that physical activity may reduce the risk of breast cancer by about a third; mothers that breastfeed also reduce their chances of getting it and of course a healthy diet and limiting your alcohol intake can help protect against a variety of chronic illnesses.

"Become breast aware by knowing what your breasts look and feel like normally; be on the lookout for any changes and if you notice anything different then go and get checked out by your GP.  Look out for lumps - in nine out of ten cases they turn out not to be cancerous but it is important to get them checked just in case.  And if you are invited for breast screening then it is important that you attend."

Useful websites - Beds & Herts Breast Screening Service - Breast Health UK - Breast Cancer Care - MacMillian Cancer Support  - Breakthrough Breast Cancer