Women invited for checks

Women in the Calder Valley are being urged to take up their breast screening appointments when a mobile unit sets up base in the area over the next few months.

Health specialists from the Pennine Breast Screening programme will take up residence at Todmorden Health Centre from the start of November.

Leah Richardson, principal superintendent radiographer in breast imaging, said: “We invite women aged between 50-to-70-years-old for breast screening every three years and are pleased that our partners in Calderdale continue to support the programme by providing a location for our mobile units.

“It means we can bring our innovative services to where the women of Calderdale have told us is best for them.”

October is breast cancer awareness month, so the visits by the Pennine Breast Screening Service couldn’t be better timed.

“Breast cancer is the most common cancer amongst women and one in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime,” continued Mrs Richardson.

“Eighty per cent of breast cancer cases occur in women over 50-years-old and the risk of breast cancer increases as we get older.

“Women aged over 70 can still get free breast screening every three years but they need to contact us if they want to make an appointment.”

Breast screening appointments generally take no more than 30 minutes and can help save lives.

The breast screening programme estimates that screening may save around 1,400 lives every year as it can show changes in the breast up to two years before symptoms appear.

If changes to the breast are found early the outcome for women can be a lot better and the majority of women who come for breast screening get the all clear.

Lynn Clark, the service’s health promotion specialist, added: “Women of all ages are advised to regularly check their breasts and be breast aware. Being breast aware simply means knowing what your breasts look and feel like normally and reporting any unusual changes to your doctor.“

Changes to look for include unusual changes in the shape, size or feel of your breasts, a lump or thickening in the breast or armpit area, unusual puckering or dimpling of the skin, changes in the position of the nipple or a nipple discharge and any unusual pain in the breast or armpit.

For information about appointments contact the Pennine Breast Screening Service on 01274 365521.