New health role to encourage local women to be screened for breast cancer

Date published: 11 February 2020

A new role has been created by health officials to increase the uptake of breast screening in Bolton, Bury and Rochdale.

Tracy Collard, Cancer Screening Improvement Lead, will be out and about raising awareness of the importance of the national screening programme.

All women registered with a GP aged between 50 and 71 are invited for breast screening every three years and women over 71 can ask to be screened. Some women aged 47 to 73 will be invited as part of a trial.

When diagnosed at its earliest stage, 98% people with breast cancer will survive their disease for five years or more, compared with around one in four people when the disease is diagnosed at the latest stage.

Yet last year across Bolton, Bury and Rochdale, only 29,977 women out of 40,926 took up the invitation to be screened.

Tracy said: “There are a number of reasons that women give for not attending. It can be anything from embarrassment to believing that they are not at risk if they don’t have symptoms or no-one in the family has previously had breast cancer.

“Some also worry about discomfort or fear of bad news. But the benefits far outweigh any reluctance to be screened.

“The screening programme is there for a reason; it saves lives.”

The process is quick and carried out by female mammographers.

Only one in a hundred of women screened nationally is found to have breast cancer.

Currently patients at Hopwood Medical Centre are being called.

Patients at Healey Surgery, Village Medical Centre and Edenfield Road Surgery will be called in the next few months.

Tracy will be supporting GP practices to increase uptake as well as holding information stands and giving talks in various community locations.

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