With 75,000 women to screen every three years, the Cornwall Breast Screening Unit has just set up in its busiest location, as it moved to Camborne-Redruth Community Hospital at the beginning of this month.
Over the next nine months, the breast screening team will be inviting more than 10,500 women to come to the mobile unit for a mammogram, a simple x-ray examination that can spot signs of breast cancer.
Director or the Cornwall Breast Screening Programme, Dr Kerstin Stepp said, “I would urge every woman to take up their invitation for breast screening when they get it. For the vast majority of women we won’t find a problem but the incidence of breast cancer is still one in eight women over their lifetime. Every year our screening programme does detect around 160 breast cancers but it is reassuring to know that the surgery and treatments on offer and our ability to spot problems early mean that outcomes are extremely good.”
Breast screening is now offered to all women aged 50 to 70, every three years. The mobile units tour the county, taking the service out to locations that are easy for women to get to such as large GP surgeries, health centres and supermarkets. The uptake rate in Cornwall is generally around the national average of 75 percent but the team would like to see that go higher.
Breast care nurse specialist, Josephine Brand added: “The examination is straight-forward and only takes a few minutes. It can sometimes be a little uncomfortable but it’s certainly not something to be worried about. Breast screening really does save lives and if you find an appointment time or day isn’t convenient, we’re happy to rearrange. Just give us a call at the Mermaid Centre on 01872 25 3763.”
The team are also keen to encourage women of all ages to check their breasts regularly and if they do find a lump or anything they are not sure about to make an appointment with their GP who, if necessary, can refer them to the Mermaid Centre.