Breast cancer is the UK’s most common cancer with nearly 46,000 people diagnosed every year.
However, the positive news is that deaths due to breast cancer are falling sharply. There are several different factors accounting for this fall, including earlier detection and a range of improved treatments.
Consultant general surgeon and breast specialist at Spire Cheshire Hospital, Mr Graham Copeland explains: “Any woman could be affected by breast disease, no matter what their age. The UK has a high incidence for breast cancer with 1 in 9 women being diagnosed during their lifetime. Being breast aware is the first step to protecting yourself from this cancer.”
Mr Graham Copeland adds: “Only quite a small proportion of cancers are thought to be due to inherited risk - less than 1 in 10 cancers are clearly linked to inherited genes. The risk of having one of these genes in the family depends on the number of relatives affected, the closeness of these relatives, and the age at which they developed their cancer.”
Mr Copeland sees patients at Spire Cheshire Hospital’s one-stop breast clinic, a consultant-led service available to all women. It was created to provide rapid access to a team of breast care specialists for women with breast concerns.
The multi-disciplinary team of radiologists and specialist nurses aim to carry out all the investigations needed at the patient’s first appointment using state-of-the-art equipment that can help detect breast abnormalities. The earlier breast cancer is detected, the better the chance of beating it – so it is important to have regular checks.
At the initial assessment women receive:
- a private consultation with an experienced consultant breast surgeon
- a clinical breast examination
- advice regarding on-going 'breast awareness'
- a personal plan for on-going screening - at intervals depending on risk
Mr Copeland advises: “In the first instance, it is important to look out for any unusual changes and if any occur get them checked by your GP. However, if you do find a lump, don’t panic - in nine out of ten cases they are not cancerous.”
The private one-stop breast screening service at Spire Cheshire Hospital is open to women of all ages. Please call 01925 215029 for further information or to book an appointment.