The open day coincides with Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and will allow local residents to find out more about the screening process, have a look around and ask any questions they may have. Women between 50 and 70 years of age are invited to a breast screening appointment every three years.
Carol McCabrey, senior service redesign manager at NHS West Lancashire CCG, said: “We organised for this screening van open day to be available following some conversations we had with local women last year.
“Our findings suggested that there was a reservation to attend appointments as individuals did not feel clear on what to expect. This open day is therefore particularly important to those who have concerns around their invitation to be screened and what is involved”.
Sheena Hilton, superintendent radiographer and programme manager for the South Lancashire Breast Screening Service, is one of the health professionals who will be talking to visitors on the day, she said: “Although screening is targeted at women between 50 and 70 years, this open day is open to anyone interested in coming along. I would urge as many people as possible to come and talk to us on the day.
“Visitors will be able to have a look around the mobile unit, have a look at the mammography x-ray equipment which is used, ask any questions that they may have about breast screening and find out when they will be invited in for a screening.”
Appointments are not required to attend the breast screening van, anyone interested in speaking to experts and learning more are encouraged to simply turn up on the day.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the UK, with one in eight women developing it in their lifetime and a very small number of men also being diagnosed (more than 340). For this reason, the NHS Breast Screening Service aims to invite all women who are aged 50 – 70 for breast screening every three years. Nationally this means that 1.3 million women are screened each year, with 10,000 diagnoses being made following screening.
This early detection for women following screening is therefore vitally important, as it provides the greatest possible chance of successfully recovering from a diagnosis, with 99 per cent of women living for at least three years.*
One in seven women, aged 50 – 70 who attend regular mammograms, never check their breasts outside of these screenings. Early detection is key to successful treatment.
* Source taken from the National Cancer Intelligence Network, 2006 – 2010