THE Herald & Gazette has joined forces with GP practices in the area which form part of the NHS Coastal West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). This week, the local NHS speaks about breast cancer.
This week women across the country are being reminded about breast cancer, and are being encouraged to increase their knowledge of the signs and symptoms to watch out for.
More than 40,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in England every year and it is the most common cancer in the country.
The older you are, the more likely you are to get it – one in three women who get breast cancer are aged 70 and over.
Knowing the symptoms is so important, as if breast cancer is detected early, it is more treatable.
Finding it early could save your life.
Research shows that when asked to name symptoms of breast cancer, only half of women could name a symptom aside from a lump.
However, approximately 30 per cent of all women diagnosed with breast cancer report a symptom other than a lump.
The first noticeable symptom may be a lump or area of thickened breast tissue, but you should also contact your GP if you notice a change in the size or shape of one or both breasts, discharge from either of your nipples, a lump or swelling in either of your armpits, or a dimpling on the skin of your breasts.
It’s also important to remember that most breast lumps aren’t cancerous, but it’s always best to have them checked by your doctor.
Men can also get breast cancer as well, so if you are experiencing any of these symptoms it is also important for men to get checked out.
Being breast aware is key; get to know how your breast look and feel normally, and that way it will be easier to spot something unusual.
If you notice an unusual change, contact your GP practice.
In addition, if you have the opportunity of breast screening, make sure you attend.
Women between the ages of 50 and 70 are currently invited for screening every three years.
Using x-rays, screening can detect breast cancer at an earlier stage, and early diagnosis means treatment is more likely to be successful.
For more information on the signs and symptoms of breast cancer please visit http://www.nhs.uk/
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