Breast Cancer Awareness Month

NHS Hounslow urges women to be 'breast aware'

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NHS Hounslow logoIt's Breast Cancer awareness month (October) and NHS Hounslow is urging female residents to attend screening on invitation and be ‘breast aware’.

In 2009 breast cancer took the lives of 59 women in Hounslow out of a GP registered female population of 129,371. Breast screening can pick up abnormalities that could lead to or be identified as cancer so it is a key element for treatment and saving lives. NHS Hounslow hope the new screening unit open at The Heart of Hounslow will support in up take of screening.

Breast cancer is more common in women over 50 however younger women can also be affected so it is important for all to be vigilant. NHS Hounslow provides a breast screening programme that invites women aged between 50-70 years old for breast screening every three years. The first invite will arrive between the ages of 50-53. Women over 70 will not receive an invitation but are encouraged to make their own screening appointments every three years. We urge those that are not within these ages to be aware of any changes in their breasts. If they suspect there is a need to
be screened they can be referred to the service by their GP if necessary.

During treatment for breast cancer patients can be assured that there is lots of support. The Mulberry Centre offer services including counselling, support groups, complimentary therapies and relaxation therapies. West Middlesex Hospital has recently launched a brand new scalp cooling machine. The scalp cooling machine helps patients by preventing hair loss during chemotherapy.

Dr Rajiv Vashisht, Consultant General and Breast Surgeon, West Middlesex Hospital says: “Get to know the way that your breasts normally look and feel so it’s easier to spot any changes. You can check your breasts in the shower or bath, or before dressing. It is best to do this after your monthly period because your breasts can feel lumpy before your period is due. The main thing to look out for when examining your breasts is a lump, or thickened area of tissue, in your breast.”

Dr Vashisht added “If you are diagnosed with breast cancer it’s important to remember that more women survive breast cancer now than ever before. In the 1970’s the survival rate was 5 out of 10, now it’s 8 out of 10. And keep checking your breasts regularly as the earlier the cancer is caught the better your chances of recovery.”

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October 26, 2010

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