BreastCheck to contact eligible women in South County Wexford - Press Release (27 April 2017)

BreastCheck – the National Breast Screening Programme, will invite approximately 7,250 women aged 50 to 65 and living in South County Wexford areas to avail of a free breast mammogram (x-ray) in the mobile digital screening unit located in the grounds of Ely Hospital, Wexford Town over the coming months.

Dr. Derval Howley, Head of Service in Health and Wellbeing for HSE's Community Healthcare Organisation Area 5 (the South East), said:

“We are looking to increase participation in this life-saving programme, as figures suggest that just 53 percent of women contacted by the programme in this part of Co. Wexford actually take up their invitation to have their first mammogram screen. This is a decrease on previous recorded rates, which is a worry.”

“Letters of invitation to South County Wexford recipients will be issued in May for appointments scheduled from mid-June to the end of July. We are urging women who are contacted by BreastCheck to accept the invitation to screen. If an appointment time or date doesn’t suit, it can easily be changed. A BreastCheck appointment only takes 30 minutes. It's quick, it's easy and it's free. The vast majority of women screened are found to be perfectly healthy.”

If you are a woman aged 50 to 65 make sure you are on the BreastCheck register by checking online at www.breastcheck.ie or calling Freephone 1800 45 45 55. Once on the register and known to the programme, a woman will automatically receive her invitation for a mammogram when BreastCheck is screening in her area.

Speaking about their own personal experiences of a BreastCheck mammogram, women said the following:

“I was very nervous going for my mammogram. There was a time when I thought about not turning up for it. I did have my mammogram done and my results came back clear. I was relieved and I am glad I went through with it. I would say to any woman out there who’s thinking about not turning up for her appointment talk to someone about it.” Betty

“The nurses in BreastCheck are very friendly and they have a great way of making you feel relaxed. When I got my mammogram the nurse chatted away to me and before I knew it she said it was done. I couldn’t believe it. I was so pleased with myself and I would have no problem having it done again.” Ann

“Women need to be responsible for their own health and it is important they get their mammogram test done. Women always look after everyone else but this is a time they must put themselves first.” Deloris

The HSE has also written to GPs in the South County Wexford area, encouraging them to advocate that women act on their invitation letter and attend their appointment. In addition to promotional and explanatory material forwarded to surgeries and health centres, information awareness alerts have gone out to the HSE’s frontline clinicians and community partners.   

BreastCheck encourages all women, regardless of age or participation in screening to remain breast aware at all times and to contact their GP without delay if they have any concerns regarding breast cancer.

 

- Ends -

 

NOTES TO EDITOR:

1.       BreastCheck is the government-funded programme that provides free mammograms to eligible women on an area by area basis every two years. All eligible women who were aged 50 to 64 on 1st January 2016, will – on a phased basis – have been offered routine screening and offered mammograms until they reach the age of 69. By the end of 2021, all eligible women aged 50-69 will be invited for free routine mammograms as part of the BreastCheck programme.

2.       The aim of BreastCheck is to reduce deaths from breast cancer by finding and treating the disease at an early stage.

3.       Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women in Ireland and the second most common cause of cancer death in Ireland.

4.       Be breast aware

·         No matter what age you are, it is important to always be breast aware.

·         Know what is normal for your body

·         Know what changes you should look for

·         What changes should I look and feel for?

·         Any lumps or unusual thickening in your breast

·         Dimpling, puckering or redness of the skin

·         A nipple that appears to be pulled-in or flattened

·         A rash or flaky or crusted skin around the nipple

·         A change in the size or shape of your breast

·         Swelling in your armpit or around your collarbone.