Wednesday 26 October 2016

Free offer that might save your life



I recently received a reminder that a Cervical check appointment is due. The service, like BreastCheck, is completely free and offers cancer screening on these two big killers. It's a no-brainer, but the numbers not turning up for appointments has been increasing.


BreastCheck is offered to women from 50-64 every two years but up to 30pc of those invited to attend simply don't turn up. The fall-off was marked in women at the younger ages even though 2,700 cases are diagnosed every year - the most common cancer in Ireland - and 790 die from the disease.

It's hard to fathom why, but it may simply be that life gets too busy and the letter gets put away, or ignored. If there's no 'lump' and we feel fine, we may not bother, although symptoms can vary.

So I'm always pleased when there's any campaign which highlights the benefit of screening. After all, we give out about the HSE so often that when something like this is offered at no cost, we really should avail of it. Over 1.2 million mammograms have already been provided by the service.

If women are concerned about the exam, the www.breastcheck.ie website has a video explaining it all along with a register you can check for information about your next invitation. The number is freephone 1800 45 45 55.

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