Public Health England has announced its latest campaign to raise awareness of cancer symptoms. “Be Clear on Cancer” aims to alert older women to the symptoms of breast cancer.
When questioned in a survey, less than half of women over 70 recognised the signs of breast cancer, other than the presence of a lump. At a time when 1 in 3 women over 70 are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, this is somewhat alarming.
Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer affecting women in England, with around 41,000 diagnoses each year. All women are encouraged to visit their GP as soon as they notice and become concerned by changes to:
- A nipple;
- Shape of the breast;
- The development of discharge.
The appearance of any lump should also give rise to seeing a GP and women should regularly check their breasts for any new or changing lumps.
Jenny Harries from Public Health England said “We want women 70 and over to be aware of their breasts and to recognise any changes, report any new symptoms and just remember that you’re not past it when it comes to breast cancer”.
Sara Hiom of Cancer Research has given her support to the message saying “This campaign highlights two important facts that aren’t well known – that breast cancer isn’t just about lumps, and that older women are most at risk”. She went on to say “An early diagnosis, regardless of age, usually makes breast cancer more treatable”.
Clarke Willmott regularly represents sufferers of cancer who have been the victim of medical negligence during their treatment. The key message and advice given by medical experts is that early diagnosis is the key to cancer survival. Too many patients contact their GP long after they first notice symptoms, so women are not only urged to recognise symptoms, but act upon them immediately.
If you, or anyone you know, has concerns regarding the quality of treatment received for cancer, contact our specialist medical negligence team on 0800 316 8892 or (James.Edmondson@clarkewillmott.com).