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WOMEN URGED TO TAKE UP SCREENING INVITATIONS

October 10, 2006 12:41 PM

Women aged between 50-70 years and living in the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde area are being invited to attend breast screening appointments at mobile units over the next few weeks as part of Cancer Awareness Month.

Invitations have been sent out by the West of Scotland Breast Screening Service via the women's GPs.

Breast Cancer is more common in women aged over 50 and as a result the Scottish Breast Cancer Screening Programme invites women in the 50 to 70 year age group for screening every three years.

Women aged 71 and over are also encouraged to attend on the same regular basis, and they can do so by contacting their local screening service.

Professor Alan Rodger, Medical Director of the Beatson Oncology Centre, and a breast cancer specialist said:

"Mammographic Breast screening has been proven to detect breast cancers earlier than any other method. 

"As a result it has played a critical role in reducing the deaths from breast cancer.  I urge all women who are invited to take up the opportunity to have a screening."

Mammogram appointments take place at a screening centre or in a mobile screening unit named in the invitation letters.

They can last around 20 minutes and patients, who can bring a friend for support, are looked after by specialist staff.

Results are sent out by post within three weeks of the appointment, and GPs are notified as well about the outcome.


Notes to Editors:
Breast cancer affects one in 10 women in Scotland at some time in their life, and on average, the Scottish Breast Screening Programme detects 900 cancers per year.

It is known that if breast cancer is found at an early stage, treatment has the greatest chance of being successful.

Around half of the cancers found through screening are still small enough to be removed from the breast, avoiding the need for surgery to remove the whole breast.

Some women find mammograms uncomfortable, and a few find them painful, but this normally lasts for just a brief period.

Women are advised to be aware of any changes to their breasts by checking them at regular intervals eg while washing, to monitor for lumps or changes in skin colour or texture, or discharge from nipples.

They should report any changes should be reported to their GP immediately.

Images of x-rays and breast screening equipment are available on request.

For more information contact NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde on 0141 201 4429 or the West of Scotland Breast Screening Service on 0141 572 5800.
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