BreastCheck calls on women to put their health first

BreastCheck encourages all women aged 50-64 to please go for their free mammogram when invited.

The aim of BreastCheck is to find breast caners at the eariest possibly stage. The earlier a breast cancer is found, the easier it is to treat. By finding and treating breast cancers early, we can help reduce the number of women who die from breast cancer in Ireland every year.

Dr Ann O'Doherty, Clinical Director of BreastCheck said: "The only way BreastCheck can be successful is for women to play their part and go for their mammogram when invited. BreastCheck is currently available for women aged 50-64 yet the number of women taking part in the programme is falling every year. In particular, we are concerned that women in their early 50s are becoming more likely to miss their appointments."

The BreastCheck programm began in February 2000 and has provided over 1.2 million mammograms to over 450,000 women and detected over 7,400 cancers.

It is through a regular mammogram every two years that BreastCheck will deliver the most benefit to the women screened. In 2012-2013, just 71.4 per cent of all women invited attended their appointment. While just four years ago (in 2008-2009) 77.4 per cent of wome went for their mammogram when called. This is a worrying drop in the number of women taking part in the BreastCheck programme.

Every woman in Ireland aged between 50 and 64, no matter where she lives, can be part of BreastCheck. We know how busy women aged 50-64 are, with many working outside the home as well as caring for their families. Yet we would urge every woman to put her own health first and to avail of a free mammomgram, when invited, as it could save her life. The thought of a mammogram can be scary and a cause for worry but the vast majority of women screened are found to be perfectly fine.

A BreastCheck appointment only takes 30 minutes. It's quick , it's easy and it's free. Be part of the programme.

Find out more: Freephone 1800 45 45 55 or visit www.breastcheck.ie.

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