Over half of Scots women don’t cancer check breasts

Over half of Scottish women don't check their breasts for signs of cancer
Over half of Scottish women don't check their breasts for signs of cancer
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Survey reveals Scottish women are putting themselves at risk of breast cancer

New research from Breast Cancer Now reveals that over half of all Scottish women (57 per cent) could be putting themselves at risk by not regularly checking their breasts themselves for the signs and symptoms of breast cancer.

A woman being screened for breast cancer. Picture: PA Photo/Thinkstockphotos

A woman being screened for breast cancer. Picture: PA Photo/Thinkstockphotos

The YouGov survey of over 500 women living in Scotland also determined that for over half (54 per cent) of these women who don’t check regularly, the main reason was that they simply forgot, while alarmingly almost 10 per cent (9 per cent) of women admitted that they have never checked their breasts.

As Breast Cancer Awareness Month commences, Breast Cancer Now warns that more work must be done to encourage Scottish women to be breast aware, with 16 per cent of Scottish women who don’t regularly check their breasts stating they don’t know what signs and symptoms to look for.

In response to this, Breast Cancer Now wants all women in Scotland to Touch Look Check to help identify any changes to their body that could be a sign or symptom of breast cancer. Breast Cancer Now has also created a helpful guide that informs women about the signs and symptoms of breast cancer to be on the lookout for, with a video available to give more information.

Mary Allison, Director for Scotland, Breast Cancer Now said: “Over 4,600 women in Scotland will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year and 1,000 women will lose their lives to the disease. We know that early diagnosis can save lives, so it’s incredibly important that women know what to look out for and that they regularly check their breasts.

“The results of this survey are incredibly worrying as they tell us that many Scottish women are not checking their breasts. Most cases of breast cancer are found by women noticing unusual changes and visiting their GP so it’s vital that Scottish women regularly check themselves and take action if they spot anything that is unusual for their body.”

Margaret Kilmartin, from Perth was diagnosed with breast cancer in December 2012 after finding a lump. She recalls, “My friend Sylvia was diagnosed with breast cancer in August 2012 and over lunch one day she urged me to go home and examine my breasts properly. That evening I checked myself in bed and I felt a lump, which was sore.

“I managed to get an appointment with my GP for the following afternoon and she sent me for a referral at the breast clinic. After five mammograms, an ultrasound and some biopsies, I was informed that I had primary breast cancer and would need a lumpectomy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. I was diagnosed with a very rare and aggressive stage 3 tumour.

“I have now recovered from breast cancer and I’m so thankful that my treatment was successful. I don’t like to think about how different things could have been if I hadn’t found that lump when I did. Checking your breasts is simple and so important. I want to urge other women to be breast aware and visit the doctor if they spot anything that worries them.”