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Milton Keynes Primary Care NHS Trust
Sort out the Facts from the Fiction for Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Date : - 06/10/2009
NHS Milton Keynes is using October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month to help local women sort out the facts from the fiction about breast cancer risks.

There is a lot of information available to women advising them of how their lifestyle and what they eat and drink can increase or decrease their risk of getting breast cancer.

With so much emphasis on healthy lifestyles at the moment, it’s no surprise that more people want to take control of their lifestyle, especially if making positive changes can reduce your risk of getting cancers. Magazines and television programmes are full of advice about things you should avoid and things you should have more of, to affect your risk of getting breast cancer.

A lot of this information can be confusing, which can make it hard for women to know what is the right thing to do.

Being overweight after menopause and whether breast cancer is in your family are established risk factors. Diet and stress are possible risk factors, while deodorants are a doubtful risk factor.

Dr Diane Gray, Deputy Director of Public Health, said: “Being overweight after menopause is an established risk for breast cancer. So, it’s even more important to lead a healthy lifestyle – enjoying a balanced diet and taking regular exercise will help you manage your weight and help you manage stress.”

If you are concerned about your risk of breast cancer because close members of your family have had the disease, visit your GP for your advice and support.

It’s important to remember that the single most important thing that women can do to help themselves is to be breast aware:

• Know what is normal for you
• Know what to feel for
• Report any changes to your GP without delay and seek referral to the breast surgical clinic for an urgent two week hospital appointment
• Attend routine screening if you are aged over 50

Dr Gray continued: “Try not to worry if you find anything that is abnormal for you when you examine yourself. In the majority of cases, the changes are not cancer and an early visit can help to put your mind at rest.

“We also strongly encourage women to attend their breast screenings when they are invited. However cancer is found, the earlier you get treatment, the better chance of success – it could save your life.”

Women aged between 50 and 70 are eligible for breast screening (a mammogram, which is a special type of x-ray) and will be invited to attend by letter every three years, as part of a national programme. The mammogram can cause some discomfort, but should not hurt and most importantly, can help to detect cancer early. Women in this age group who have missed their screening and women over 70 who detect a change can call 01908 243429 to make an appointment. Local people are also warmly invited to visit the breast screening stand at the Health Fair at Middleton Hall, Centre:MK on 20th October, to find out more information about the programme.


Reference : - www.miltonkeynes.nhs.uk/
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