This month in Richmond we are talking about breast cancer and women over 70. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in England with around 41,500 women diagnosed each year of which around a third are aged 70 and over, so never assume that you're past it.
The current campaign is to remind all women in the borough of Richmond, but particularly those over 70, that a lump is not the only sign of breast cancer. If you see any change to your nipples, skin or the shape of your breasts it is important to get it checked out.
Local GP and chair of Richmond Clinical Commissioning Group, Andrew Smith said: "Breast cancer is treatable if found early, more than 90 per cent of all women diagnosed with the earliest stage of breast cancer survive the disease for at least five years so it's important to get yourself checked if you notice any changes in your breast. One in three women over the age of 70 gets breast cancer so don't assume you are past it, make an appointment with your GP if you notice a change."
Possible signs of breast cancer include:
- A lump in your breast or armpit
- Nipple changes
- Changes to the skin of your breast
- Changes in the shape or size of your breast
- Pain in your breast or armpit
You can find a full list of symptoms on the NHS choices website www.nhs.uk. If you are aged 70 or over you are still entitled to NHS breast screening every three years – you just need to make your own appointment. The NHS Breast Screening Programme saves an estimated 1400 lives each year in England. If you are between 50 and 70 you will be invited to screening.
For information on Breast Screening in Richmond visit the South West London Breast Screening programme website, or you can contact the programme Monday to Friday 8:30am - 5pm on 020 8725 2723.