Sir George backs the Breakthrough Campaign
23 May 2006
Sir George at Breakthrough, the breast cancer campaign
Sir George at Breakthrough, the breast cancer campaign
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LOCAL MP URGES WOMEN NOT TO IGNORE THE INVITE THAT COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE

Sir George has joined forces with the UK’s leading breast cancer charity, Breakthrough Breast Cancer and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Breast Cancer to encourage all women aged 50 - 70 in North West Hants to attend their breast-screening appointments when invited and, if aged 70 or over, to phone or write to your local breast screening unit to make an appointment.

Meeting at the All Party’s annual reception at Westminster, MPs heard that breast cancer is now the UK’s most common cancer.

"Over 41,000 women are diagnosed with the disease each year in the UK, making it one of the highest incidences in the world. Early detection and diagnosis are vital to improve a woman's chances of surviving breast cancer and screening is one of the most effective ways of ensuring this."

But while routine screening invitations are sent to all women aged between 50 and 70 every three years, Breakthrough’s own research has suggested that not all women are taking advantage of this potentially life-saving service.

Since screening was introduced in the UK in 1998 the programme has screened more than 14 million women and has detected over 80,000 cancers. If it wasn’t for screening, many of these cancers may not have been detected until at a much later stage.


“Women need to know that early diagnosis of breast cancer saves lives and around 1,400 lives saved in England each year by the NHS Breast Screening Programme.

“The biggest known risk factor in developing breast cancer is age, with around 80 per cent of cases occurring in post-menopausal women, aged 50 or over.

It’s a sobering thought that one in nine of women in North West Hants will develop breast cancer at some point in their lives. The good news is that more women than ever are surviving breast cancer, and this in part is down to the NHS Breast Screening Programme.

“The earlier breast cancer is detected the better your chances of survival. Breast screening is a vital and effective part of the UK’s efforts to reduce the death toll from this devastating disease but it’s essential women in North West Hants take advantage of this by attending when invited. “

Breakthrough’s research shows that 1 in 6 women did not attend their screening appointments because it was not at a convenient time. However you can rearrange your appointment to a more suitable time for you.

It is important to note that your risk of breast cancer does not stop after the age of 70. Women over this age are entitled to, and can request, a routine screening appointment every three years, whether or not symptoms are apparent. Your GP can arrange this for you.



ENDS


2. Breast cancer is the UK’s most common cancer. Over 41,000 women and 300 men diagnosed with the disease each year and around 13,000 women die from the disease annually - over 1,000 women every month.

3. Breakthrough Breast Cancer provides administrative support to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Breast Cancer. For more information about the Group and its activities or to find out the uptake of screening in your local area please contact Vicki Nash on 020 7025 2435.

4.For more information about Breakthrough Breast Cancer visit

www.breakthrough.org.uk

For further information about this press release contact Michele Cefai, Media Relations Department, Breakthrough Breast Cancer on 020 7025 2454 or email press@breakthrough.org.uk


http://www.breakthrough.org.uk
 
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