Worcestershire unit reaches out to encourage breast screening - The Evesham Observer

Worcestershire unit reaches out to encourage breast screening

Evesham Editorial 30th Dec, 2022   0

AN EVENT to encourage women with learning disabilities to access routine breast screening took place at the Worcestershire Breast Unit.

Hosted by the Community Learning Disabilities Team from Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, the ‘My Breasts and Me’ event sought to raise awareness of the risks of breast cancer, and to increase the uptake of women with learning disabilities attending their routine breast screening appointments.

Those in attendance were able to explore and look at the mammogram machines with a meet and greet with a radiographer, learn how to check their breasts, get their bra size measured by experts and have a tour of the Worcestershire Breast Unit.

Nurses from the unit gave practical demonstrations on how to get to know your own breasts and what changes to look out for.




They reminded all in attendance that if notice any changes they should speak to their GP or somebody they trust.

The learning disability team were able to reinforce this information with easy-read resources, developed specifically for those in attendance.


 

Saffron Davies, community learning disability nurse for the South Worcestershire Community Learning Disability Team said: “Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women the UK with one woman diagnosed every 10 minutes.

“Attending routine breast screening appointments can find breast cancer before many people notice symptoms.

“Unfortunately we know if a woman has a learning disability, they are much less likely to attend these appointments.

“The women were made so welcome at the unit, so we are very grateful to the team there and all the volunteers who helped with the planning and on the day.

“This joint working means that breast cancer service staff increase their awareness of the needs of people with learning disabilities and learn about what we do in community learning disability services, which was a very important aim of the event too.

“We really hope this will become an annual event so we can continue to reach as many women with a learning disability as possible in our county,” she added.

The first ‘My Breasts and Me’ event was held in 2019 and the team were delighted to host another now the event was considered ‘Covid-19 safe’ for patients and staff.

Routine breast screening helps to find breast cancers early, increasing the chances of successful treatment.

Most women in Worcester will be routinely invited for NHS breast screening every three years between the ages of 47 and 70 years.

Anyone experiencing symptoms or changes in their breasts, of any age should contact their GP, even if they have recently had a clear breast screening.

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