HEALTH MAT­TERS

Macclesfield Express - - MACCLESFIELD PEOPLE -

●● WITH Dr Paul Bowen, a GP with McIlvride Med­i­cal Prac­tice, Poyn­ton, and ex­ec­u­tive chair of NHS Eastern Cheshire Clin­i­cal Com­mis­sion­ing Group (CCG). ONE in three women who get breast can­cer are over 70, yet many women con­sider them­selves to be safe once they pass this age.

This is why the ‘Be Clear On Can­cer’ cam­paign is cur­rently fo­cused on en­sur­ing women in this age group do not as­sume they are ‘past it’.

Early di­ag­no­sis of breast can­cer is cru­cial and means treat­ment is more likely to be suc­cess­ful.

In­deed, if breast can­cer is di­ag­nosed at the ear­li­est stage in women over 70, 93 per cent will live for at least another five years.

This fig­ure drops to just 13pc for those di­ag­nosed at the most ad­vanced stage. How­ever, we can im­prove timely di­ag­no­sis by en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to see their GP with­out de­lay and rais­ing aware­ness of signs and symp­toms.

This is all the more im­por­tant as a sur­vey car­ried out by Public Health Eng­land found that less than half of women over 70 could name a symp­tom of breast can­cer other than a lump.

Knowl­edge of other breast can­cer symp­toms is higher among those aged 40 to 69, with 73pc able to name at least one non-lump symp­tom.

Pos­si­ble signs of breast can­cer in­clude: ●● A lump or thick­en­ing in your breast or armpit ●● Changes to the skin of your breast ●● Changes in the shape or size of your breast ●● Nip­ple changes ●● Nip­ple dis­charge ●● Pain in your breast ●● Any other un­usual or per­sis­tent changes to your breast.

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