Television presenter Christine Talbot shows her support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

ITV Calendar News presenter Christine Talbot has urged local women to be breast aware during Breast Cancer Awareness Month (1 – 31 October).

Christine’s message comes as NHS Leeds West Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is reminding local people to know the symptoms of breast cancer.

Figures from Breast Cancer Care show that around 55,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in the UK and it is the most common cancer in the UK.

The charity has revealed figures showing that the biggest risk factor after gender is increasing age as approximately 81% of breast cancers occur in women over the age of 50. Breast cancer also affects men but it is rare and around 350 men are diagnosed each year.

ITV's Christine Talbot for Leeds West CCG. © Victor de Jesus

Christine Talbot, Presenter at ITV Calendar who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012, said: “People need to be breast aware as both men and women are affected by breast cancer, if you notice something different in your breast you must see your GP.

“I would also encourage people to attend or complete their cancer screening service or test because the sooner cancer is diagnosed the more effective your treatment may be. Speaking from my own personal experience I had put off having a mammogram as I was just too busy, I now realise that if I’d perhaps attended a mammogram when I was supposed to I might have been diagnosed earlier and my treatment might have been a little less invasive, as I had to have an aggressive form of chemotherapy. But I was very lucky and if I had left it much longer I might have not been so lucky.”

Dr Gordon Sinclair, Clinical Chair for NHS Leeds West CCG, added: “It’s important for local people to know the symptoms of breast cancer. The earlier it’s picked up, the easier it is to treat and chances are that treatment is likely to be successful.

“If you notice anything unusual about your breast it’s important that you see your GP as soon as possible. Your GP will examine you and may refer you to a specialist if necessary.”

Women need to be aware of the following symptoms of breast cancer:

  • Lumps or thickening of breast tissue
  • Continuous pain in a breast or armpit
  • One breast becoming larger or lower
  • Nipples becoming inverted (turned in), changing shape or position
  • Nipples developing a rash (like eczema), crusting or producing discharge
  • Swelling under the armpits or around the collarbone.

Men will have the following symptoms of breast cancer:

  • Swelling or painless lumps in breast tissue, often towards the nipple
  • Nipples that are tender, turned in or producing discharge
  • Swelling underneath the armpits.

The CCG will also be holding a bake off on Thursday 23 October, where staff will be bringing in cakes and buns decorated in pink and money raised from the bake off will be given to Breast Cancer Care.

Local charity, The Haven, has support groups across Leeds for anyone with breast cancer. For further information visit http://thehaven.org.uk/ or call 0113 284 7829.

ENDS

Notes to editors

For further information on breast cancer, visit:

In Leeds approximately 670 people were treated in 2012/13 with primary malignant breast cancer diagnosis across all providers for the three Leeds CCGs; NHS Leeds North CCG, NHS Leeds South and East CCG, and NHS Leeds West CCG. From this figure three men were diagnosed with primary malignant breast cancer.

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Issued by the communications team at NHS Leeds West CCG. You can contact the team on 0113 84 35528 or 0113 84 35470. Alternatively please email us: commsleedswestccg@nhs.net