On 26th May 2010, Surrey actress Emma Barton, star of West End musical, Chicago, officially launched a new BreastHealth UK clinic in Surrey; the Spire Clare Park Hospital, Farnham which offers new types of breast cancer screening to women of all ages. The new clinic will provide women in Surrey with greater access to experienced consultants and convenient, well-equipped and expertly-staffed facilities for breast care.
“I recently lost a friend who’d suffered twice with breast cancer,” says Emma. “When you lose someone like that, it really makes you aware of the importance of looking after yourself and being alert to any changes in your body.”
Emma, who is starring as Roxie Hart in the hit musical Chicago at the Cambridge Theatre in London’s West End, is painfully aware that breast cancer can strike at any age. I also lost a college friend a few years ago, who was only 27,” she says. “It was so unexpected.”
The new BreastHealth UK clinic will offer access to a personalised breast screening programme that may include mammography, clinical breast examination, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and other screening technologies such as the revolutionary Digital Infrared BreastScan (DIB), depending on a woman’s personal level of risk and other circumstances. BreastHealth UK offers exclusive access to the DIB technology and it is the only one currently available in the UK. It is a comfortable , non-invasive breast screening technology that in combination with standard mammography provides cancer detection sensitivity of 89% in women under 50 1, an increase of 11% compared with mammograms alone.
Troels Jordansen, BreastHealth UK Director comments: “Early detection can save lives. In Sweden, routine breast screening starts at 40 and this was introduced ten years before the UK programme*. It has been shown to almost halve the number of women who might otherwise die from the disease and offers a good case for offering screening to younger women if they have a higher personal risk, perhaps due to family history”.
Mr Raouf Daoud, consultant breast surgeon at the new Farnham BreastHealth UK clinic, located at Spire Clare Park, agrees that women must be pro-active about their health, and advocates regular self-examination as well as reviewing lifestyle choices such as diet, alcohol intake and exercise.
“I would encourage all women, regardless of age, to undertake regular self-examination, and to seek help if they discover anything unusual. If breast cancer does occur, early diagnosis is the best way to ensure a better outcome.”
Ian Laidlaw, also a consultant breast surgeon at the new Farnham BreastHealth UK clinic continues: “The NHS breast screening programme provides 3-yearly mammograms for women aged 50 to 70, but some women may prefer more frequent screening, or want to begin regular screening earlier, particularly if they have a family history of the disease.
To help women make these decisions we can offer the Breast Health Risk Assessment which combines genetic screening with lifestyle, medical and family history, to give a personalised risk score which can be used to inform a tailored programme of screening.”
Although breast cancer risk is strongly related to age, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women under 35, and most new cases arise in women with no significant prior family history of the disease. The earlier breast cancer is detected, the better the chances of survival and the less the personal trauma.