Be Breast Aware

17th October 2019

To mark breast cancer awareness month, the Southern Trust has hosted a range of activities to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms.

The Trust’s breast screening and health improvement teams organised information sessions in ASDA, Portadown and and Buttercrane Shopping Centre, Newry. Breast screening staff were available at the Health and Wellbeing Hub in Craigavon Area Hospital, pupils at local schools received a breast awareness presentation and a fundraising calendar was recently launched. The Macmillan Information Centres in both Craigavon Area Hospital and Daisy Hill Hospital have breast cancer awareness information stands and a breast family history event is also planned later in the month

Dr Linda Johnston, Director of Screening for the Southern Health and Social Care Trust said: “Being breast aware is part of caring for your body. It means getting to know how your breasts look and feel so you know what is normal for you.

“If you notice any changes in the breast it is important that you attend your GP. They may refer you to a breast clinic to have a detailed assessment. You should feel reassured that in most cases, breast changes will not be cancerous, even if they need treatment or follow-up appointments. However if it is breast cancer, the sooner it is diagnosed the more effective treatment may be.”

While most breast cancers occur in women over 50, it can develop in either men or women of any age. Symptoms to look out for include:

  • A change in how your nipple looks
  • A change in the size or shape of your breast
  • A lump or area of thickened tissue in your breast
  • A lump or swelling in your armpit
  • A rash on or around your nipple
  • Dimpling on the skin of your breast
  • Discharge from your nipple

Breast screening aims to find breast cancer at an early stage, often before there are any symptoms. To do this, an x-ray is taken of each breast (mammogram). For more information visit http://www.cancerscreening.hscni.net/