Mother's Day is a time to give thanks to our mums, but it's also an opportunity to look out for their wellbeing.
BreastCheck, the National Breast Screening Programme, is urging people to take advantage of the occasion of Mother’s Day this year by encouraging their loved ones to have a free mammogram that could help find and treat breast cancer at an early stage.
Professor Ann O’Doherty, Lead Clinical Director for BreastCheck, says: “Mother’s Day is a day that we devote to celebrating our mums by spending time with them. Whether treating them to a nice lunch or even just making the time to have a long phone chat, Mother’s Day offers an ideal opportunity to have a conversation about the importance of screening for breast cancer and being breast aware.”
“If your mum is aged 50 to 65, have a chat with her about registering for BreastCheck. The programme offers free mammograms every two years to women aged 50 to 65. If your mum isn’t on the register or she’s not sure, ask her to register or check her details.”
“The risk of breast cancer increases with age and it is important that all eligible women avail of their regular free mammogram, so that changes can be identified at an early stage. If a breast cancer is found early, it is generally easier to treat and there are more treatment options available.”
“A BreastCheck appointment only takes 30 minutes. It’s quick, it’s easy, it’s free and it could save your mum’s life. The vast majority of women screened are found to be perfectly healthy.”
“If your mum is outside the age range for BreastCheck, talk to her about how to be breast aware. It is important that all women, regardless of age or participation in screening, remain breast aware at all times by getting to know what is normal and being on the lookout for any changes. For any breast-related concerns, women should contact their GP without delay,” urges Professor O’Doherty.
Be breast aware
BreastCheck urges all women to be breast aware by knowing what is normal for them and what changes to look out for, such as:
– 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.
Getting on the BreastCheck register
All women aged 50 to 65 are advised to make sure their name is on the BreastCheck register and that their details are correct. Call Freephone 1800 45 45 55 or check online at www.breastcheck.ie.
Once your name is on the register, with the correct contact details, you will automatically be contacted by post when BreastCheck is screening in your area. If your appointment time or date doesn’t suit, it can be easily rearranged. Any woman who receives an invitation for a mammogram is encouraged to go for her appointment.
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women in Ireland and the second most common cause of cancer death in women in Ireland. On average, there are 2,883 women diagnosed with breast cancer each year in Ireland while 711 Irish women died from the disease in 2013. Since BreastCheck began in February 2000, the programme has provided over 1.4 million mammograms to almost 500,000 women and has detected over 9,300 cancers.
For more information, visit www.breastcheck.ie or call Freephone 1800 45 45 55.