Essex breast specialist dispels the myths of breast cancer

October 2009

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 breast specialist at Spire Hartswood Hospital in Brentwood, Mr Wael Ismail 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 Ismail adds: “Only 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.”

For women of any age with breast symptoms, Spire Hartswood Hospital offers consultant breast clinics every weekday, including some evenings. Appointments can be arranged on a “one-stop” basis so that investigations such as mammography, breast ultrasound and biopsy can be carried out at the same time. If breast cancer is diagnosed, the hospital’s specialist breast care and chemotherapy nurses are on hand to support patients throughout their treatment.

The earlier breast cancer is detected, the better the chance of beating it – so it is important to have regular checks. Mr Ismail 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.”

For women over 40 who have no symptoms but want to ensure the best possible breast health and awareness, Spire Hartswood Hospital offers a Breast Health Screen consisting of a breast examination, mammography (breast X-ray) and doctor’s report. These checks are available annually from the age of 40 and every two years after the age of 50. Women under 40 can book a breast health check with a screening doctor but will not be offered mammography unless the doctor recommends this.

Spire Hartswood Hospital is supporting Breast Cancer Awareness Month, culminating in a “pink” day for staff, patients and doctors on Friday 30 October. The hospital is offering a £20 reduction on all Breast Health Screens booked by end December. With this offer, the price will be £159 instead of the normal price of £179.

Please call 01277 266 764 quoting “BC Awareness” for further information or to book an appointment.


Patient Care Winner!

Alex Edghill, Breast Care Nurse Specialist, has received a Spire Healthcare national ‘Inspire Award’, following her outstanding care for patients with breast cancer.

Click here to read the full story

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