Get checked for The Big C

Take up screen­ing in­vite and knock it down to the‘wee c’

Rutherglen Reformer - - Chef’s Corner - Niki Ten­nant

Peo­ple in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang are be­ing urged to knock ‘ The Big C’ down to a ‘ wee c’ by get­ting checked for can­cer.

NHS La­nark­shire is stress­ing the im­por­tance of the #GetChecked ini­tia­tive, part of the wee c health cam­paign, by en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to take part in bowel, breast and cer­vi­cal screen­ing as well as keep­ing an eye out for any changes to your body and get­ting them checked by your doc­tor.

Dr Jen­nifer Darn­bor­ough, NHS La­nark­shire con­sul­tant in public health, said: “The ear­lier can­cer is found, the more treat­able it is, so tak­ing part regularly in screen­ing, when­ever you are in­vited, is very im­por­tant.

“The take- up of bowel, cer­vi­cal and breast screen­ing in La­nark­shire is a lot lower than we would like and to re­ally bring the Big C down in size, more peo­ple need to get screened. Bowel can­cer is Scot­land’s third most com­mon can­cer, and just over 400 are picked up ev­ery year in La­nark­shire.

“If it’s found early, nine out of 10 peo­ple beat it.

“Even your own doc­tor can’t see it in its very early stages so the best way to pick it up is to do the screen­ing test which is posted to your own home ev­ery two years.

“The test is for all men and women aged be­tween 50 and 74.

“Peo­ple aged 75 and over are not au­to­mat­i­cally sent a kit but can re­quest one f ree from the Bowel Screen­ing Helpline on 0800 0121 833.

“Screen­ing is also one of the most ef­fec­tive ways of de­tect­ing breast can­cer be­fore women no­tice any symp­toms.”

On breast can­cer, Dr Darn­bor­ough said: “Breast can­cer is the most com­mon can­cer in women and around 500 are di­ag­nosed ev­ery year in La­nark­shire.

“Screen­ing is of­fered to all women aged be­tween 50 and 70 ev­ery three years and I would urge ev­ery­one who re­ceives an in­vi­ta­tion let­ter to make sure they take up their ap­point­ment.

“Women over the age of 70 can ask to con­tinue with breast screen­ing.

“Cer­vi­cal can­cer is a lot less com­mon than breast can­cer and we see around 40 cases a year in La­nark­shire. How­ever, it af­fects much younger women.

“The peak age is be­tween 35 and 45 when women of­ten have young fam­i­lies.

“Cer­vi­cal screen­ing re­ally does save lives and only takes a few min­utes.

“As well as tak­ing part in screen­ing, it’s im­por­tant to check your­self regularly, keep­ing any eye out for any changes in your body, to spot po­ten­tial signs of prob­lems like skin can­cer or tes­tic­u­lar can­cer.

“If in any doubt, pop along to see your doc­tor to set your mind at rest.”

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