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Meg Munn MP - Sheffield Heeley's voice in Parliament | Welcome
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Meg Munn and breast cancer screening

Friday, October 31, 2003

Meg Munn MP has joined forces with the UKs leading breast cancer charity, Breakthrough Breast Cancer and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Breast Cancer to urge all women aged 50 and over in Sheffield to attend their breast-screening appointments when invited.

Breast cancer is now the UKs most common cancer with over 40,000 women diagnosed with the disease each year. Early detection and diagnosis are vital to improve a woman’s chances of surviving breast cancer and screening is one of the most effective ways of ensuring this.

Around 9,500 cases of breast cancer are detected through screening each year and almost half of these are to small to be felt by hand. If it wasn’t for screening, these cancers may not have been detected until at a much later stage.

The biggest known risk factor in developing breast cancer is age, with around 80 per cent of cases occurring in post-menopausal women, aged 50 or over. But while routine screening invitations are sent to all women aged between 50 and 64 every three years, evidence suggests that not all women take advantage of this potentially life-saving service.

There may be many reasons why women do not attend their screening appointments and the All-Party Group on Breast Cancer is calling on the Government to conduct research to find out the possible reasons why.

Meg Munn says “It’s a sobering thought that one in nine of women in Sheffield will develop breast cancer at some point in their lives. The good news is that more women than ever are surviving breast cancer and this in part is down to the NHS Breast Screening Programme.

The earlier breast cancer is detected the better your chances of survival. The NHS Breast Screening Programme is a vital and effective part of the UKs efforts to reduce the death toll from this devastating disease but it’s essential women in Sheffield take advantage of this by attending when invited.”

It is important to note that your risk of breast cancer does not stop after the age of 65. Women over this age are entitled to, and can request, a routine screening appointment every three years, whether or not symptoms are apparent. Your GP can arrange this for you.

Breakthrough Breast Cancer campaigned vigorously for the extension of the screening programme which by 2004 will include women up to the age of 70.

ENDS

www.breakthrough.org.uk for further information

 


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