As part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the NHS in Leeds is urging women of all ages to be more aware of the signs of the disease and to see a health care professional if they have any concerns
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in the UK, affecting about one in eight women. The over 50s are more at risk, but younger women can also get breast cancer, and in rare cases, so can men.
Dr Sarah Forbes is clinical lead for cancer at NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and joint clinical lead for the Leeds Cancer Programme. She says: “Unfortunately, breast cancer is all too common, affecting one in eight women in the UK. If it’s caught early, however, there’s a really good chance of recovery, so it’s very important that women check their breasts regularly for any changes and always get any changes examined by their GP.
“Breast cancer can have a number of symptoms, but the first noticeable symptom is usually a lump – most lumps turn out not to be serious but it’s always best to have them checked.”
You should also see your GP if you notice any of the following:
- a change in the size or shape of one or both breasts
- discharge from either of your nipples, which may be streaked with blood
- a lump or swelling in either of your armpits
- dimpling on the skin of your breasts
- a rash on or around your nipple
- a change in the appearance of your nipple, such as becoming sunken into your breast
As the risk of breast cancer increases with age, all women who are 50 to 70 years old are invited for breast cancer screening every three years. If you receive an appointment, it’s vital that you attend or re-arrange for a more convenient time.
- For more information, please visit nhs.uk/conditions/breast-cancer/
- The Leeds Cancer Programme is a pioneering partnership between Macmillan Cancer Support, Leeds City Council and NHS Leeds CCG, which aims to transform cancer services across the city. The programme aims to achieve the best in cancer care for the people of Leeds and work with all communities to ensure that everyone affected by cancer has access to the same high quality care.