BreastCheck is quick, easy and could be the most important thing you do this year
Published 23/08/2016 | 12:07
Hitting 50? Hoping that it will be one of your healthiest, happiest decades?
We’re all more health-conscious these days and right now four out of five people in Ireland over 50 say that they’re happy with their life and in good health, according to Trinity’s Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing.
If you’re female and 50 or over, there’s one single important action to safeguard health that can prove a massive investment in your health and future. It only takes 30 minutes and it could be the single most important thing you could do for your health; a mammogram.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in Ireland after skin cancer, but better treatments mean that more and more women in Ireland can live long and full lives after diagnosis.
Join in – reboot your health
Free mammograms are provided to eligible women on an area by area basis across Ireland every two years. All women who have received an invitation to attend an appointment are encouraged to attend.
Women who want to join up can check the register to see if their details – name, address and age – are included and correct on the online database by doing a simple self search. Those who are not registered but are eligible can join by registering online here. For more information freephone 1800 45 45 55 or visit www.breastcheck.ie.
Breast cancer survival rates are improving in Ireland since the introduction of BreastCheck and early detection means that a larger number of cases are more treatable than ever. The aim of BreastCheck is to detect breast cancer as early as possible for the best possible outcome.
Mammogram Myths Debunked
There are many myths about mammograms and many women are nervous about attending their first one. Here are some of the most commonly held mammogram myths answered.
1. A Mammogram Is Not for Me
As age increases, so does mortality from breast cancer. This is coupled with the fact that there is a higher chance of developing breast cancer as women get older. For anyone who has received an invitation to attend an appointment, it is recommended to attend, even if there is no family history of breast cancer.
2. I’m Worried About Radiation
Mammograms use a very small dose of radiation and having the screening is similar to having an x-ray. The risk of harm is extremely low. BreastCheck uses state-of-the-art equipment to make sure a high quality image is taken.
3. A Mammogram is Painful / Intrusive
While every woman’s experience is different, most women do not find a mammogram painful. Some women report that it can be a little uncomfortable but trained radiographers work with each woman to make the experience as comfortable as possible.
4. I Don’t Have the Time
BreastCheck appointments are scheduled to take no longer than 30 minutes and are designed to have women in and out of the screening as efficiently as possible. Finding cancer early is important. Breast screening and better treatments are helping to lower deaths from breast cancer. Screening programmes in other countries have already proven this and in Northern Ireland there has been a reduction in deaths from breast cancer by 20% in the last 10 years.
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.
How to 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
• Constant pain in one part of your breast or armpit