BMI Healthcare support breast health awareness
"We are winning the battle but the fight must go on." This is the message from doctors and consultants at the UK's largest private hospital group, BMI Healthcare.
With high profile campaigns raising awareness around symptoms, screening early diagnosis and the importance of breast cancer self-examinations, new figures have shown that more women than ever are surviving breast cancer.
More than eight out of 10 (85%)1 people and an estimated five out of six women diagnosed with breast cancer2 are still alive five years after diagnosis. Furthermore, almost two out of three women with breast cancer now survive their disease beyond 20 years.3 But with the good news comes a warning – be breast aware, as early detection is still crucial to improving survival rates. Around 1,000 UK women still die of breast cancer every month.4
"Breast health is something that can so easily be overlooked but the recent statistics show that with increased awareness and through high-profile media campaigns we can influence the behaviour of women across the UK. But we must never become complacent and always have to look for new ways to get the message across. With early diagnosis and intervention you can make the first positive steps to increase your chances of successful treatment. If you suspect or notice a lump or change in your breast it is imperative you visit your GP straight away." Michelle Mullan, consultant breast surgeon at BMI Healthcare
What are the symptoms of breast cancer?
BMI Healthcare is encouraging Mumsnetters to take the opportunity to learn about breast health and understand what is normal for them.
Breast cancer experts at BMI Healthcare advise that women should see their GP if they notice any of the following symptoms during their breast check:
- Painless lumps in the breast
- Changes in the size or shape of a breast
- Dimpling to the skin of the breast
- Thickened breast tissue
- Nipple inversion
- Lump or thickening behind the nipple
- Rash affecting the nipple
- Blood-stained discharge from the nipple
- Swelling or a lump in the armpit
Breast awareness: what's normal for you?
It's important that you learn what's normal for you and your breasts throughout the month. For example, some women find that they have normal breast pain related to their period. Learning what's normal for you at different stages in your life and as your breasts naturally change will make it much easier for you to spot anything unusual. Experts at BMI Healthcare recommend that you check your breasts a few days after your period because during your cycle, normal lumps can occur.
There's no right or wrong technique for checking your breasts, but get in the habit of looking and feeling for any changes regularly. Perhaps when you're in the bath, shower or getting dressed. If you notice anything unusual – particularly if one breast feels different to the other – get a doctor to check as soon as possible.
To help encourage Mumsnetters and women to be breast aware, BMI Healthcare has put together a guide to breast awareness. You can download a copy of the guide which covers the symptoms, importance of early diagnosis and how to perform a self-breast examination by clicking here.
Breast screening clinics at BMI Healthcare
The NHS offer routine breast screening to women over the age of 50 every three years. If you would like a more regular screen or if you do not fit the NHS breast screening criteria, BMI Healthcare offer specialist-led breast screening clinics throughout the UK with results delivered within 48 hours.
Rapid access breast clinics at BMI Healthcare
Changes to the breast can be normal as you develop and grow older. However, if you are concerned about any changes to your breasts you should visit your GP for a breast assessment. If your GP advises further investigation, you can request to be referred to a rapid access breast clinic at BMI Healthcare where you will have the reassurance of a specialist, expert opinion and a rapid diagnosis - usually within 48 hours.
Where can I learn more about BMI Healthcare?
BMI Healthcare, the largest private hospital group in the UK, with over 60 hospitals and healthcare facilities across the country. For more information on breast cancer and the treatment options available at BMI Healthcare, or to book an appointment with one of our breast consultants, please call on 0800 157 7747 or click here.
Last updated: about 3 years ago