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​Macmillan GP for Richmond calls for local women to be breast aware​


October is national breast cancer awareness month and Richmond Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Richmond Council are encouraging local women to be more aware of the signs and symptoms of breast cancer.

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in the UK. One in eight women will be affected in their lifetime and around 50,000 women are diagnosed every year. The condition also affects a small number of men.

Breast cancer awareness month takes place every October around the world to encourage people to check their breasts or to take part in an event - such as 'wear it pink' on Friday 23 October 2015 - to help raise money for breast cancer research.

The good news is that 85 per cent of people now survive breast cancer beyond five years, but women are being encouraged to remain vigilant in checking their breasts for abnormalities or signs of change - especially the over 50s as this is a higher risk group.

Symptoms of breast cancer can include:

• Change in the size or shape of one or both breasts
• Discharge from either of your nipples (which may be streaked with blood)
• Lump or swelling in either of your armpits
• Dimpling on the skin of your breasts
• Rash on or around your nipple
• Change in the appearance of your nipple, such as becoming sunken into your breast

Dr Charlotte Pennycook, Macmillan GP for the borough of Richmond, said: "The earlier breast cancer is diagnosed the quicker we can treat it so it's really important for women to know the signs and symptoms of the condition and to check their breasts regularly. No change is too small to take action and if you're worried then your GP is there to help."

Cllr Lisa Blakemore, Richmond Council Cabinet Member for Public Health, said: "I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1997 – and thanks to early diagnosis, I survived.

"The key thing to remember is that the earlier breast cancer is diagnosed, the higher the chance of survival. More than 90% of all women diagnosed with the earliest stage of breast cancer survive their disease for at least five years."

You can find a full list of symptoms on the NHS choices website www.nhs.uk.

To find out more about Breast Cancer Awareness month and wear it pink day visit www.breastcancercampaign.org​.

For media enquiries please contact Amy Burns at Richmond CCG on 020 8734 3016 or email amy.burns@richmond.gov.uk