01 October 2018
It is time that more women got to ‘know their breasts’ say medical experts as campaign groups and charities throughout the UK prepare to support Breast Awareness Month.
Figures from Cancer Research UK (CRUK) show that one in eight women in the UK will be diagnosed with breast cancer – that amounts to around 60,000 cases every year.
Although increased awareness, along with better screening and constantly improving treatments, are continuing to improve survival chances, women are also being told the way to even better figures could be in their own hands!
“Without any doubt, early detection means better treatment results. That means we need to ensure that every woman knows how to carry out an effective breast self-examination and, just as importantly, what to do if she thinks something is wrong,” said Professor Amtul Carmichael, a Consultant Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon at Spire Parkway Hospital in Solihull, near Birmingham, West Midlands.
“We need to ensure that every woman gets to really know her breasts. If they know what feels normal, they will be in a much better position to notice any changes.”
Figures from CRUK show that around eight out of 10 women survive the disease for 10 years or more, compared with four out of 10 back in the 1970s. Figures for surviving for five years or more are even higher at almost nine out of 10 – 87%.
“These are impressive figures and show we are making good progress,” said Prof Carmichael. “But the hard facts are that there are still around 12,000 UK women dying of breast cancer every year.
“Although finding a lump in your breast does not always signify breast cancer it should mean that the woman acts quickly to get an early appointment with a GP to discuss the matter. They will then receive informed advice and, if necessary, be placed on the proper healthcare pathway, so they will receive the necessary advice, help and treatments.”
For more information on how to carry out self-checks, click here.
Q: How quickly could I have a consultation, and how much would it cost?
A: It depends on the availability of the consultant you wanted to see, but we pride ourselves on getting you fast access to diagnosis and you can often get a consultation within 24/48 hours. Initial consultation fees vary by consultant, but around £175 is a reasonable guide.
Q: If I need surgery, how quickly could I have it?
A: We have no waiting lists at Spire Parkway, but again, it depends on the availability of the consultant you wanted, but as a guide, and subject to your pre-operation assessment, between one and two weeks.
Q: I don’t have health insurance, can I self-pay?
A: Yes, you can. Our self-pay team can talk you through this and explain the finance options that are available, should you wish to explore them. Call 0121 704 5530, or click here to submit an enquiry online.