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Campaign to help us spot signs of cancer
A TEAM of volunteers has been set up in Swindon as part of a national campaign to improve the public’s awareness of the symptoms of certain cancers.
Be Clear On Cancer is a Department of Health campaign which aims to improve the public’s awareness of the symptoms of certain cancers, and to encourage people with those symptoms to visit their GPs.
With more than 39,000 women diagnosed with breast cancer each year, breast cancer is England’s most common cancer, and one third of all breast cancer cases are diagnosed in women over 70. In Swindon, 48 women over the age of 70 died of breast cancer in 2008. Fortunately, there are new and effective ways of treating breast cancer now, but they all depend on finding the disease early.
As part of the national campaign, Swindon has a team of volunteers dedicated to raising awareness of the symptoms of breast cancer, who can offer advice, and where to get more support.
Sylvia Baker, a volunteer for the campaign, said: “Unfortunately, women over 70 are more likely to delay seeing their doctor for unusual breast symptoms, so, breast cancer is often diagnosed at a later stage in this age group.
“We hope this campaign will increase the number of women over 70 who know what to look for, and will speak to their doctor about any symptoms they may have, as soon as they spot them.”
An NHS spokesperson said: “We know diagnosing breast cancer early means treatment can be less aggressive, and with greater success rate.
“As well as regular breast cancer screening, it is important to know normal shape and feel of the breast and to get advice when any changes are noticed. “The screening takes x-ray images of the breast tissues to look for early signs of breast cancer.
“In most cases, the x-rays are normal, or show benign disease. Some x-rays may show suspicious changes, and in these cases the women are invited for further investigation.”
To find out more about speaking to one of the volunteers, contact Peter Kent, the Health Ambassador Coordinator, on 078248437.