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What we have to say about your health and well being
21
Mar 2012
Breast Awareness
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer amongst women in Northern Ireland (excluding skin cancer). Around 1,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in Northern Ireland each year. You can reduce your risk of breast cancer by maintaining a healthy weight, regular exercise, avoiding excess alcohol and eating a well balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables. Whatever your age, being breast aware is about knowing your breasts and what is normal for you throughout your monthly cycle. Get in the routine of checking your breasts for changes on a regular basis: What you should look for? Any change which is not normal for you. For example: Any changes in size or outline of your breasts Any puckering or dimpling of the skin Any changes in your nipple position or blood or discharge Any veins which stand out more What to feel for: Examine your breasts and armpit area Check for any lumps or thickening in your breast Any changes in sensation-particularly if new and only in one breast. Changes in the breast can often be harmless but if you notice any changes contact your Doctor without delay. Breast Screening As the risk of breast cancer increases with age women aged 50- 70 years old are invited for breast screening. This is an Xray procedure(mammography) to identify cancer at an early stage. Women are invited every 3 years up to the age of 70 years. Women over the age of 70 can request a free mammogram by ringing the Breast Screening Unit. Around one in every four women invited to attend for breast screening do not attend so as a pharmacist, I would encourage all women in this age group to make time for their breast screening as early detection can save lives. And don’t forget to attend for smear tests as these are just as important. For Additional information see www.cancerscreening.hscni.net or contact Breast Screening Unit Lurgan Hospital: 028 38347083
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